Coronavirus: British Airways suspends all Gatwick flights

plane Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption British Airways is among many airlines that have seen passenger numbers shrink and bookings collapse

British Airways will suspend all flights to and from London’s Gatwick airport amid a collapse in demand due to the coronavirus.

The move follows EasyJet’s suspension of flights after the government advised against all but essential travel.

British Airways told staff it was facing a challenging market environment in “unprecedented circumstances”, according to an email seen by the BBC.

The airline said it would contact customers to “discuss their options”.

“Due to the considerable restrictions and challenging market environment, like many other airlines, we will temporarily suspend our flying schedule at Gatwick,” the airline said in a statement.

Shares in IAG, which owns the company, have more than halved in value since the beginning of the month and changed hands yesterday at 212.6 pence each.

While BA continues to fly from its main hub of Heathrow, it does so on a much reduced timetable as travellers scramble to make it back to the UK.

Image copyright TF-Images
Image caption EasyJet has grounded its entire fleet

Aviation bosses have been lobbying the government for a targeted aid package to stop firms going under as a result of the slump in travel demand.

Yesterday, EasyJet grounded its entire fleet of planes and said it could not give a date for when they will restart.

It had already cancelled most services but had been running rescue flights to repatriate Britons stranded abroad.

If your flight has been cancelled you are entitled to a full refund to the original form of payment within seven days under EU air passengers’ rights rules.

But airlines including BA have removed the usual option where passengers can request their money back online. Airlines want customers to take vouchers instead.

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