Airline Virgin Atlantic have said that they will cut 80% of their daily flights due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Demand for travel has plummeted since the pandemic began, with many countries entering into lockdown.
China, Spain, Italy and others have all gone into complete lockdown and holiday makers have been sent packing from Tenerife and France.
The news will come as a shock to staff who have been asked to take a massive eight weeks unpaid leave.
The company also said that they plan to ground 75% of their planes by March 26 and another 10% of the fleet by April.
The London Heathrow-Newark route has been permanently cancelled.
Virgin say that they will be prioritising “core routes” as based on “customer demand”.
In a statement, Virgin Atlantic said: “This change amounts (to an) approximately 80% reduction in flights per day by 26 March. As a direct consequence we will be parking approximately 75% of our fleet by 26 March and at points in April will go up to 85%.
“Owing to restrictions to international travel, the airline is reducing services to focus on core routes, depending on customer demand. This will be subject to constant review as the situation evolves.”
Virgin Atlantic claim that they are taking the measures to “ensure cash is preserved, costs are controlled and the future of the airline is safeguarded.”
The scaling back of the airline's operation comes after the collapse of FlyBe earlier this month.
Norwegian Air has also announced that they will be suspending half of their staff due to the outbreak and American brand United have warned of empty planes and a “cash bleed”.
Travel restrictions and reluctance to travel abroad are fuelling the difficulties faced by airlines.
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Virgin Atlantic have said that they will be asking staff to take the two months of unpaid leave, but will spread the reduction in salary over six months of payments.
They claim this is the only way they can reduce outgoings without job losses.
Unions BALPA and UNITE reportedly support the move.
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