| 9.4°C Belfast

Coronavirus: Airlines cancel Belfast to Italy flights

Close

EasyJet have cancelled flights to the affected area of Italy.

EasyJet have cancelled flights to the affected area of Italy.

EasyJet have cancelled flights to the affected area of Italy.

Airlines have cancelled a number of flights from Belfast to Italy due to the risk posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Belfast International Airport, easyJet currently operates flights from Belfast to Venice and Naples, while Jet2 flies to Naples and Verona and Ryanair flies to Milan Bergamo.

Over 300 people have died in Italy because of the disease.

EasyJet confirmed it's reviewing flights to Milan Bergamo, Milan Linate, Venice and Verona airports until April 3.

An easyJet flight scheduled to arrive in Belfast from Venice at 3.30pm on Monday was cancelled, while a flight from Belfast to Venice was also cancelled.

The airline said it had taken the decision as Italy put 16 million people on lockdown in the north of the country.

“In the short-term we will be cancelling a number of flights to and from these destinations on Monday March 9," a spokesperson said.

"We will be advising all affected passengers of the cancellations by email and SMS.

"Customers on flights scheduled to operate to and from these airports will be given the option of a full refund or to change their flight.

“We expect to continue to reduce the number of flights in and out of Milan Bergamo, Milan Linate, Venice and Verona airports in the period up to April 3 and will provide a further update on our schedule in due course.

“Whilst these circumstances are outside of our control, we apologise to all affected customers for any inconvenience caused.”

Close

Ryanair is cancelling flights due to the coronavirus (Niall Carson/PA)

Ryanair is cancelling flights due to the coronavirus (Niall Carson/PA)

Ryanair is cancelling flights due to the coronavirus (Niall Carson/PA)

Ryanair will run a severely reduced schedule of flights from Belfast to Milan Bergamo from Thursday March 12 to Thursday April 9 as part of a widespread reduction in flights to affected areas of Italy.

A spokesperson said: "While inbound traffic to northern Italy has suffered large numbers of 'no shows' over the past week, there are many thousands of non-Italian visitors currently in the Lombardy and other affected regions who are scheduled to return home, and Ryanair must continue to run this restricted four-day week schedule to/from Northern Italy to repatriate these non-Italian citizens."

The airline said that the current situation was changing on a daily basis and all affected customers were receiving emails and being offered flight transfers, full refunds or travel credits.

If passengers have not received an email they can expect their flights to operate as originally scheduled.

Belfast man Graham Woods is due to fly to Milan from Dublin on a Ryanair flight with his partner on April 8 and return home on an easyJet from Venice to Belfast on April 13.

His flights have not yet been cancelled.

"We have received no communication from Ryanair or from easyJet who we fly back with to state that either flight is at risk or that we should travel," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

Graham said that even if the flights were operating he wasn't sure he wanted to take the risk of travelling to Italy.

"We have not yet booked accommodation for our stay and are reluctant to do so as the flights could end up being cancelled," he explained."

"Even if we did go, the whole area is on lockdown at the minute, everything is shut so I can't imagine it would make for a good holiday.

"We have been left in limbo as to what to do."

Belfast International Airport said it was "working closely with the Public Health Agency (PHA)" and had procedures in place should a passenger present with any coronavirus-type symptoms.

Belfast City Airport is also in regular contact with the PHA and "following all relevant directives for ports and airports".

“Guidance from the Public Health Agency has been communicated with our staff and business partners, and posters are clearly displayed throughout the terminal with advice for passengers who may feel unwell,” a spokesperson said.

Jet2 has yet to announce any changes to its schedule.

Belfast Telegraph