DESPERATE airlines and travel firms want government financial help as global travel grinds to a halt.
The UK’s largest airlines will axe almost all flights in the coming months.
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Thousands of staff will be put on unpaid leave or let go as the crisis threatens to bankrupt businesses. Travel association ABTA said: “Without support, perfectly viable UK travel companies employing tens of thousands of people are at risk of going bankrupt.”
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are reducing capacity by 75 per cent in April and May and easyJet is now running only rescue and repatriation flights in order to fly customers home.
Ryanair expects to ground the majority of its flights in the next ten days and will cut capacity in April and May by up to 80 per cent.
Tour operator TUI has suspended all holidays including package holidays and cruises. And P&O and Cunard have also cancelled all cruises worldwide until April 11.
Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said: “It is vital the Government considers all options to support the industry through this challenging period.”
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