News: South American airlines brace for flight cuts as second wave of virus rages in Brazil.
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – South America’s airlines set out to reduce flight capacity in the region beyond original expectations as a second wave of coronavirus infections continues in Brazil and dampens demand for travel.
Chile’s LATAM Airlines announced on Friday that flights in March will decrease by 65% compared to March 2019 before the pandemic.
The new guidelines show how severely the second wave of coronavirus is affecting airlines in the region, particularly in Brazil, which only posted a new record for daily deaths this week. Many countries have closed their borders with Brazil, while state governors have placed increasingly stringent lockdowns in recent days to stop the spread.
Domestic flights in Brazil are a key market for LATAM.
Its main competitor there, Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes, said Friday it had asked passengers with tickets booked for April to confirm whether they would actually take the flight, suggesting they expect significant cancellations.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, Gol is adjusting its flight plans for April,” the airline said in a statement.
Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun in Sao Paulo; Adaptation by Matthew Lewis
Original Source © Reuters