Air New Zealand has today announced the suspension of flights to Seoul from 7 March till at least the end of June as the coronavirus continues to impact operations.
The carrier has faced a significant decrease in demand for flights, not only to Seoul and China, but across its network. This includes on flights across the Tasman and on domestic and Asian services.
In order to mitigate the effect of the coronavirus on services, Air New Zealand has cut capacity on many of its flights. Despite the current lower fuel cost, Air New Zealand still expects earnings to be impacted.
The carrier has estimated a net negative impact on earnings of between $35 million and $75 million.
“Air New Zealand is a resilient business and we have demonstrated the ability time and again to respond quickly to changing market conditions. We have a highly capable and experienced senior leadership team who have dealt with challenges such as this before and I am confident that we will effectively navigate our way through this," says Air New Zealand CEO, Greg Foran.
Air New Zealand is not alone in its struggles against the coronavirus. The outbreak has forced many airlines to ground part of their fleets as the lack of demand reduces the need of capacity. Governments are working to stop the spread of the virus, however with death tolls and case numbers rising it is proving difficult.