Aircraft at Cairns Airport
Aircraft at Cairns Airport

Airline cancels more NQ flights due to virus

PLUMMETING passenger numbers travelling to Cairns have triggered the suspension of flights from carriers servicing Asian destinations in the wake of a growing coronavirus health crisis.

In response to the fall in demand for air travel, Singapore Airlines and SilkAir have further reduced capacity on a number of routes.

SilkAir has now cancelled 16 return flights between Cairns and Singapore between March and the end of May, after initially cancelling seven.

Affected flights include:

MI811 (Singapore - Cairns): 16 Mar, 23 Mar, 26 Mar, 30 Mar,11 May, 14 May, 16 May,

18 May, 21 May, 23 May, 25 May.

MI812 (Cairns - Singapore): 16 Mar, 23 Mar, 26 Mar, 30 Mar, 11 May, 14 May, 16 May,

18 May, 21 May, 23 May, 25 May.

MI813 (Singapore- Cairns): 10 Mar, 13 Mar, 18 Mar, 20 Mar, 27 May.

MI814 (Cairns - Singapore): 10 Mar, 13 Mar, 18 Mar, 20 Mar, 27 May.

"We will continue to monitor the situation, and be nimble and flexible in adjusting our capacity to match the changing demand patterns in the market," a SilkAir spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Jetstar last month announced it intended to reduce flights from Cairns to Osaka and Tokyo but a spokesman yesterday said no decision had been made yet on those or the region's Bali route.

"We are looking at all flights to Asia, including from Cairns; we are still working through it," he said.

 

Palm Cove barista Jessica Giacetti has been forced to rethink plans to travel back to Italy in the wake of an increased coronavirus health threat. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS
Palm Cove barista Jessica Giacetti has been forced to rethink plans to travel back to Italy in the wake of an increased coronavirus health threat. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS

Palm Cove barista Jessica Giacetti had been planning a trip back to Venice when hearing about a northern Italian lockdown.

"I am not worried about getting there, it's more about coming back that worries me," she said. "I'm not a permanent resident, I have a dog here and a house - I can't risk not being allowed back into the country."

She said Singapore Airlines had advised no travellers would be permitted entry to northern Italy from Singapore.

"So I probably wouldn't be able to leave Cairns at this point; it's too risky," she said.

"The situation is really serious and it's getting worse day by day, so I am a bit worried."

Yesterday all official overseas travel by state school students was halted due to the ongoing threat.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the Department of Education Director-General issued the directive for all international destinations other than New Zealand.

"The decision was made with the health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff in mind," she said.



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