MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. Russia’s flagship air carrier Aeroflot said on Sunday it suspends flights to 16 more destinations in Europe and Central Asia from March 15 until late April in a bid to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus infection.
Thus, it will suspend flights to Prague, Frankfurt, Munich, Thessaloniki, Barcelona, Zurich, Copenhagen, Oslo, Chisinau, Vilnius, Warsaw, Tallinn, Vienna, Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand.
However, it will continue to make flights from Prague, Munich, Zurich, Copenhagen, Oslo, Chisinau, Vilnius, Warsaw, Tallinn, and Vienna to bring home Russian nationals.
Aeroflot nevertheless will continue to fly to Brussels (Belgium), Budapest (Hungary), Sofia (Bulgaria), London (UK), Berlin (Germany), Athens (Greece), Dublin (Ireland), Madrid (Spain), Rome (Italy), Riga (Latvia), Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Lisbon (Portugal), Bucharest (Romania), Belgrade (Serbia), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Helsinki (Finland), Zagreb (Croatia), Tivat (Montenegro), Geneva (Switzerland), Stockholm (Sweden), Paris (France), and Larnaca (Cyprus). It also continues to operate routes to a number of the CIS countries, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam, India, and a number of other countries.
Another restriction over the coronavirus situation comes into effect from March 16. Air companies will fly only to EU member nations’ capital cities, to London, Geneva, and Oslo from Sheremetyevo’s Terminal F. Russia’s Air Transport Agency has already notified air companies about this restriction. Air companies will be allowed only to perform charter flights from European cities to bring home their nationals.
Amid the new coronavirus spread in the past month and a half, restrictions have been imposed on flights to China, South Korea, and Iran. Air carriers are reducing the number of flights to certain destinations due to the slumping demand or the authorities’ decision to ban entry, as Israel has done.
A pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, a large trade and industrial center with a population of 12 million, in late December 2019. Cases of the new coronavirus have also been reported from more than 120 countries and territories, including Russia, which has 63 coronavirus cases. Outside China, the worst affected countries are Italy, South Korea and Iran.
The World Health Organization says that the novel coronavirus cases across the globe have exceeded 142,000, with about 5,400 deaths. The WHO has officially described the situation with the novel coronavirus as a pandemic.