The Scandinavian airline has also canceled two flights to Italy from the morning.
SAS has already canceled all flights to mainland China due to coronavirus, and now the Scandinavian air carrier is making another decision to suspend flights.
As of Thursday, they set all departures to Hong Kong, they write in a press release .
This is partly due to lower demand, and therefore SAS will embark on a number of measures aimed at reducing the company’s costs. This includes, among other things, the need to reduce staff costs.
We have canceled our departures to Hong Kong because of the scale of the coronavirus, but also because of the lack of demand, says SAS press officer Kristoffer Meinert.
The announcement comes after SAS also canceled two departures to Northern Italy from morning hours after last night’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs changed its travel guide to Northern Italy due to the spread of the new coronavirus – covid-19.
This means that citizen services now advise against all unnecessary trips to the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto. Thus, they discourage travel to both Milan and Bologna.
Will adapt to demand
According to SAS’s head of press, this morning’s cancellations are due to the fact that last week SAS experienced a sharp decline in demand for travel to northern Italy.
“We will try to adapt our schedule to the next time so that it will have the least impact on our travelers and the company,” said press officer Kristoffer Meinert, who said that tomorrow’s cancellations are due to both lack of ticket sales and customers who canceled their trip .
The head of the press says that SAS expects fewer flights to northern Italy in the coming time.
But there are no routes to Italy that will be completely closed off, says Kristoffer Meinert.
Italy is the European country most affected by the virus, which has infected more than 90,000 people globally. In Italy, more than 2,000 have been infected, which has been surpassed only by South Korea and China.
Other airlines go the same way
SAS is not the only international airline that has canceled or plans to cancel a host of departures.
The fear of coronavirus has also caused the large British carrier British Airways to cancel a total of 216 flights departing from London in the period 16-28. March.
The canceled flights should have been to Italy, France, the USA, Austria, Belgium, Germany and Ireland.
Also Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has plans to cut up to 25 percent of all flights in and out of Italy from March 17 to April 8, the BBC writes .
The company will not say exactly how many passengers and aircraft will be affected, but Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary explains that a significant drop in future bookings for the end-March period and early April has been seen.
It makes sense to crop our schedule to and from the airports where travel has been most affected by the covid-19 outbreak, he tells the BBC.
Aviation giant cuts significantly
German Lufthansa has also planned to cut significantly in its flights in March to the Italian cities of Milan, Venice, Rome, Turin, Verona, Bologna, Ancona and Pisa, the Lufthansa Group writes on its website .
Lufthansa is adapting its services to Northern Italy to meet the changing demand, the company writes.
Swiss Swiss Air, also part of the Lufthansa Group, is considering cutting flights to and from Florence, Milan, Rome and Venice until the end of April.
At the same time, Belgian carrier Brussels Airlines has decided to reduce its flights to Rome, Milan, Venice and Bologna by 30 percent by March 14, writes Lufthansa Group.
The group has also chosen to reduce the number of working hours among its employees, it says.
Lufthansa Group has also announced further reductions in personnel costs as well as material costs and project budgets, Lufthansa writes.
Austrian Airlines also reduces its flight program to Italy in March and April by 40 percent on flights from Vienna to Milan, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples.