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Coronavirus and aviation: Flights cancelled, regional airports abandoned, bankruptcy threat for Neckermann travel agency
Brussels Airlines is cancelling 900 European flights in February and March due to low demand, the company announced on Wednesday.
“The number of passengers [who have] currently booked [a seat] on these flights does not allow them to be operated economically or environmentally,” said the airline.
In other news of disruption in the travel industry, TUI fly Belgium will continue not to operate from the airports of Ostend-Bruges, Antwerp and Liège until at least the end of March, the company said on Wednesday.
Since the beginning of November, TUI fly has concentrated all of its flights on the airports of Brussels National and Charleroi Brussels South due to ongoing low travel demand during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, tour operator Neckermann could file for bankruptcy on 22 February if it fails to secure additional funds.
Consumer organisation Test Achats/Test Aankoop has advised customers that some travel vouchers could disappear, although the majority of package holidays would be reimbursed due to the operator’s insurance against financial insolvency.
"With a package trip (that is to say a combination, for example, of a flight and a hotel), travellers in principle do not have to worry about their finances," said the non-profit in a press announcement.
While coronavirus vouchers, issued between March and June 2020 and valid for one year, are also covered, there is no consumer protection for other vouchers, said Test Achats.
"We call on people with a voucher issued outside of March 20 to June 19, 2020 to use their voucher to book a trip before February 22. It is only after their reservation is confirmed that they will fall under the protection of the insurance," it added.
Beleaguered Neckermann has been struggling during the Covid-19 crisis, following the bankruptcy of its former parent company Thomas Cook two years ago.