Coronavirus: BA and Ryanair cancel flights as bookings drop

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British Airways and budget rival Ryanair have cancelled hundreds of flights as demand for travel drops amid fears about the spread of coronavirus.

BA is cancelling 226 flights from 16-28 March to destinations including New York, Italy, France, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland.

Ryanair will cut up to 25% of flights in and out of Italy from 17 March to 8 April.

It comes as tourists and business people cut back on foreign travel.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said: “Our focus at this time is on minimising any risk to our people and our passengers.

“While we are heavily booked over the next two weeks, there has been a notable drop in forward bookings towards the end of March, into early April. It makes sense to selectively prune our schedule to and from those airports where travel has been most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.”

The firm declined to say how many flights or passengers would be affected.

However, it said the move would not affect its results for the financial year which ends on 31 March.

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