American Queen extends cruising suspension coronavirus

American Queen Steamboat Company said Wednesday that it
won’t be sailing until at least May 16.

AQSC sister company Victory Cruise Lines will delay sailings until May 17.

The decision to extend the suspension
beyond April 11 was due to “the evolving nature of the Covid-19 pandemic and
the continued widespread governmental restrictions across ports, cities and
public institutions.”

The move comes one day after Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s
four brands extended their sailing suspension through May 12. 

For suspension updates and cancellation and refund policies
from other companies, click here.

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American Airlines to Cut 75 Percent of International Capacity

American Airlines said late Saturday night it will cut 75 percent of its international capacity through May 6 to combat the loss of revenue from decreased customer demand due to the coronavirus.

“American Airlines Group Inc. will implement a phased suspension of additional long-haul international flights from the U.S. starting on March 16,” the carrier said in a statement. “This suspension will last through May 6. This change is in response to decreased demand and changes to U.S. government travel restrictions due to coronavirus (COVID-19).”

While other carriers have trimmed flights and grounded planes, this is the largest and most dramatic cutback of any of the U.S. airlines so far.

American said it will reduce international capacity by 75 percent year-over-year from Monday, March 16 to Wednesday, May 6. It will continue to operate one flight daily from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to London Heathrow (LHR), one flight daily from Miami (MIA) to LHR and three flights per week from DFW to Tokyo Narita (NRT).

The carrier will continue short-haul international flying, which includes flights to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and certain markets in the northern part of South America, as scheduled.

In addition to the international changes, the airline anticipates its domestic capacity in April will be reduced by 20 percent compared to last year and May’s domestic capacity will be reduced by 30 percent on a year over year basis.

Given the decrease in demand related to COVID-19, American has requested temporary relief from numerous airports over slot usage, also known as a slot waiver, without having to give up its takeoff and landing slots.

Here are the full changes and route suspensions American plans.

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American Queen Steamboat Company Suspending Operations

American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) announced today that it will be suspending operations across its entire fleet, effective immediately, with service planned to resume on April 12, 2020. Sailings that are currently underway will continue forward and conclude as scheduled.

The difficult decision needed to be made, largely due to widespread, government-imposed restrictions that are currently being applied to ports, cities and public institutions, to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“American Queen Steamboat Company, a leader in North American river cruises, has been monitoring and managing the COVID-19 situation for weeks,” said John Waggoner, founder and CEO of AQSC. “By pausing the operations of our ships, our goal is to reassure our guests, team members and partners of our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us.”

In a press release, AQSC expressed gratitude to its guests, travel agent partners, vendors and team members for their patience and understanding, as the world struggles to contain the current health crisis.

AQSC is reaching out directly to all guests who are booked for a cruise within the suspension period to discuss upcoming cruises and their available options.

For more information, visit

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U.S. likely to advise Americans against travel to Europe – sources

WASHINGTON, March 11 (Reuters) – The Trump administration is likely to discourage Americans from taking trips to Europe with a new advisory as soon as Wednesday that would warn against non-essential travel to the region over coronavirus concerns, sources said.

The White House is set to discuss the advisories as well as potential new travel restrictions on travelers from Europe entering the United States at a meeting on Wednesday, sources familiar with the discussions said. Reuters was first to report on the impending advisories.

The U.S. State Department is likely to raise the travel advisory for potentially all of Europe to “Level 3: Reconsider Travel,” airline and U.S. officials said. Italy, which has become an epicenter of the virus in Europe, is already a Level 3 country.

One option under discussion is a stringent ban similar to the one the United States imposed on travelers from China, four of the sources said. Under those travel restrictions, nearly all foreigners who had visited China in the previous two weeks were banned from entry, while U.S. citizens were quarantined on returned home.

It was not immediately clear whether the administration would reach a decision or make an announcement on Wednesday. Additional restrictions have been discussed routinely for weeks but have fresh urgency as the number of cases and deaths outside of China have soared in the United States and abroad.

Robert Redfield, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told a congressional hearing that Europe was a growing source of U.S. coronavirus cases.

“Our real threat right now is Europe. That’s where the cases are coming in,” Redfield said. “If you want to just be blunt, Europe is the new China.”

Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy security of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), told another congressional hearing that limiting the spread of the coronavirus from Europe to the United States “presents a unique problem” because of the freedom of movement across borders on the Continent.

Two weeks ago, the State Department raised the travel advisory level for Italy and South Korea, calling on U.S. citizens to reconsider travel there and avoid trips to the regions hardest hit by the respiratory illness. It has also coordinated efforts to screen would-be travelers to the United States from those countries before boarding.

The administration has credited the ban on travel from China – imposed in late January – with slowing the spread of the virus, prompting questions about why it has not yet extended the measure to cover other hard-hit countries. (Reporting by David Shepardson, Alexandra Alper, and Steve Holland; additional reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Chris Sanders, Ross Colvin and Rosalba O’Brien)

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