The United States’ transatlantic travel ban on most non-US residents entering the country from the Schengen area, introduced in response to the coronavirus outbreak, has put 1.3 million airline seats at risk of elimination from the market as of midnight last night, when the exclusion was extended to the UK and Ireland. This is in addition to the 2 million seats placed in jeopardy on Friday.
The airlines which look set to suffer the worst are both US carriers, Delta and United, which each stand to lose around 400,000 seats. British Airways is next, followed, in order, by American Airlines, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Aer Lingus, KLM and Norwegian.
In terms of countries, the UK is set to be worst hit, potentially losing over a million seats. It is followed in order by Germany, standing to lose around 500,000, France, around 400,000, the Netherlands around 300,000, Spain, around 200,000 and then Italy and Switzerland, each with around 100,000.
Whilst a few flights are still operating, bringing permanent US residents and their immediate family back home, this is an unprecedented collapse in air travel. In an incredibly short space of time, this ban has decimated the world’s busiest and most profitable segment of the aviation industry – transatlantic travel.