Malaysia Airlines cuts flights due to Covid-19 impact

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 18): Malaysia Airlines Bhd has joined other airlines such as Singapore Airlines Ltd in temporarily cutting flights across its network, as demand is hit by the 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. 

In an email reply to theedgemarkets.com today, the national carrier said it has seen weak passenger demand across its network, especially to and from China, over the past three weeks. 

"Hence, we are proactively reducing capacity based on demand," it added. "As more and more countries are imposing travel restrictions, Malaysia Airlines has responded quickly to these changes," it added. 

Reuters reported today that Singapore Airlines Ltd will temporarily cut flights in the three months to May across its global network, as Covid-19 hits demand for services to the  city state, as well as through the key transit hub.  

Affected destinations include Frankfurt, Jakarta, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Paris, Seoul, Sydney and Tokyo. 

Singapore has recorded 77 cases of the Covid-19 outbreak, among the highest outside mainland China.  

Singapore Airlines relies heavily on transit traffic, besides visitors to the city-state. Many business events were cancelled across Asia amid the virus outbreak, as this impacted premium travel. 

Meanwhile, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd has said it is cutting 40% of capacity across its network due to weak demand, up from 30% earlier.