Covid-19 in France: Flight and airport update

Airlines serving France are continuing to issue updates amid the changing Covid-19 situation, with Air France saying it will reduce activity by 70-90%, and EasyJet warning it may have to ground its fleet.

16 March 2020
Covid-19: Air France has said it will reduce activity by 70-90%, and EasyJet has warned it may have to ground its fleet
By Connexion journalist

Major reduction in capacity

Air France said today (Monday March 16) that it will reduce activity by 70-90% over the next two months at least, due to travel restrictions and a drop in demand.

British Airways has also said it will cut capacity by 75% in April and May.

In its most recent statement on the issue, EasyJet said it had cancelled a "further significant" number of flights. It added that it may be forced to ground most of its planes.

It said: "These actions will continue on a rolling basis for the foreseeable future and could result in the grounding of the majority of the EasyJet fleet.”

Read more: Covid-19 in France: France-UK travel update

Airport closures

Paris airports Roissy Charles de Gaulle and Orly are to close part of their terminals from this Wednesday (March 18), parent company Aéroports de Paris has announced today, as reported by France 3.

The measures are set to last until July 1.

At Charles de Gaulle, terminal 3 will be closed. Terminal 3 usually serves Transavia flights between Italy and Spain. All remaining passengers in terminal 3 will now be directed through T1 and T2.

At Orly, terminal 2 is to close. This terminal usually handles Air France domestic shuttle services, and domestic EasyJet flights.

Similarly, Nice airport (Alpes-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) has closed one of its terminals (T1) and is redirecting all flights to its second terminal (T2).

It said that the move was intended to ease the flow of passengers and make it easier to enforce public health rules, and did not mean flights to or from T1 would be cancelled or delayed.

Read more: Covid-19 in France: What impact on travel? - Can I change or cancel my flight? Is it safe to fly? Can I still take a ferry?

Stranded nationals

Dozens of French nationals and tourists are stranded in Morocco today, after the government suspended all international flights “until further notice”. Tourists are waiting at the French consulate for further information on how they may fly home.

As a result, Air France has announced that it will open immediate flight bookings to France from Morocco, and cap all available seats at €250 each.

UK not a ‘risk zone’

The French foreign minister has said today that although Covid-19 is “obviously still a danger” in the UK, there are (so far) fewer cases there than in France, and the country is not considered to be a “risk zone” for French people at the moment.

This means that France has not yet ordered French residents in the UK to return home.

There are now 5,423 confirmed cases in France, and 127 people have died, said the latest update on Sunday March 15.

The French director general of health has described the Covid-19 epidemic as very “worrying, and deteriorating quickly”, and warned the public to respect the guidelines on staying indoors whenever possible, and staying at least one metre away from other people.

President Emmanuel Macron is to address the nation tonight at 20h, to present a series of further updates and health recommendations to stop the spread of Covid-19 throughout France.

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The French government has issued health advice to help stop the virus from spreading.

This advice includes:
  • Keep a 1 metre distance between yourself and others.
  • Wash your hands with soap or hydro-alcoholic sanitiser gel frequently.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands.
  • Use single use tissues and dispose immediately after use.
  • Do not shake hands, or greet people with kisses on the cheek.
  • If you are sick, stay at home and wear a mask in the company of others.

If you believe you are sick, do not go to the hospital or visit your local doctor as you may infect others. Instead call your local doctor and take paracetamol for the fever. Do not take anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or cortisone to treat the possible symptoms of Covid-19 as these could actually worsen the infection.

If you have returned from a high risk area, including China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao); Singapore, South Korea, Iran or the Lombardy and Veneto regions of Italy, and present symptoms of respiratory infection such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing within 14 days of your return, call the SAMU emergency number, 15. Do not go to your local hospital or doctor.

A free hotline service can answer your questions about the coronavirus Covid-19 non-stop, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 0800 130 000. It cannot give medical advice.

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