Ciao for now.
British Airways and Easyjet have canceled some flights to and from Italy as demand for travel to the area slows amid the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Reported cases of the novel coronavirus have recently surged in the Mediterranean nation.
On Thursday, British Airways announced that some flights to and from Milan Linate Airport would be canceled amid the ongoing outbreak. Most of Italy's COVID-19 cases have been reported in Lombardy, a populous region that includes the financial hub of Milan, Reuters reports.
“To match reduced demand due to the continuing coronavirus issue, we are merging a small number of flights between Heathrow and Milan,” a spokesperson for the carrier told Fox News on Friday. “We will be contacting customers on canceled flights so we can discuss their travel options including alternative British Airways flights within two hours of their original departure time where possible, full refunds or booking for a later date of travel.
“We understand that some customers flying to/from Northern Italy may wish to change their travel plans and have introduced flexible booking options,” the representative added, encouraging customers to look to the airline’s website for further advice.
As some customers traveling in and out of Northern Italy may want to adjust travel plans given the ongoing outbreak, British Airways is also allowing people traveling to and from Milan, Turin, Bologna, Venice, Bergamo and Verona (up to March 2) to move their reservation to a later date (March 31.)
Budget airline Easyjet also cited decreased demand in canceling numerous upcoming flights to and from Italy, amid coronavirus concerns.
"We can confirm that we have taken the decision to cancel a number of flights mainly to and from Italy following a slowing in demand as a result of concerns over COVID-19,” a spokesperson for Easyjet told Fox News on Friday.
“The cancellations are for some flights between March 13 and 31, most of which have multiple daily frequencies. Customers are being contacted and moved onto flights operating on the same day or alternatively have been offered a full refund,” they said. “Standard terms and conditions apply on all flights which are unaffected as they will be operating as normal.”
Stateside, both United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have offered fee waivers to Italy amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
This news comes as reports reveal that the viral disease has sickened over 650 people in Italy and killed 15.
As of Friday morning, the coronavirus had infected more than 83,000 people globally, while the death toll has risen to at least 2,800.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.