Aviation Covid-19 Situation Report (23rd March 2020)

March 23, 2020

To keep our affiliates updated, we will be posting daily Covid-19 situation reports on our blog. These reports will focus on the effect the virus is having on the aviation industry, and specifically on aviation workers. These reports are a compilation of publically available information provided to us by our affiliates and media outlets.


If you have information to provide please contact us at civilaviation@itf.org.uk.


The ITF cannot guarantee that the information provided is accurate at the time of reading. This update is not complete as we can only post what information we have been given by our affiliates or on news outlets.

Keep up to date on all transport covid-19 stories at https://www.itfglobal.org/en/news-events/covid-19-updates.



  • Flights have been closed with the exception of a few repatriation flights a day. Currently transport workers will not have any salary deductions.







  • As of 23 March, Rio de Janeiro airport will suspend all all international and domestic flights from affected regions of Brazil until April 5.



European Union







  • Unions are welcoming steps taken by large ground handlers which have secured salaries up to 90% in some cases. However, smaller ground handlers and privatised operators are not doing the same for their workers.
  • Fraport will close 90% of its operations.
  • Cargo operations are busier than at peak times at major cargo hubs. In some cases workers are being transferred to these airports to support the operation.
  • Lufthansa Cabin Crew have secured 90% of their salaries through their Works Council.







  • Garuda Indonesia’s catering arm has laid off between 50-100 workers.



  • Concerns are mounting amongst ground handlers as the Italian decree covering aviation workers may not apply to ground handling. Much of the reaction in Italy has focused on airline workers and not third party ground handlers.
  • Some ground handling companies are holding out on salaries, promising payment when operations resume.


New Zealand

Air New Zealand is blocking seats on-board its aircraft to allow for social distancing. 



  • The Nigerian aviation union, NUATE, has issues a statement supporting social dialogue in the Nigerian aviation sector. In its statement it said “Flowing from the foregoing, we wish to inform all the impacted aviation companies that NUATE stands firmly with them as a social partner. And we throw our doors open for discussions with them for the purpose of arriving at workable grounds upon which both sides will ride this testing period. We thank those companies that have already approached us in this respect.” It also commended the Federal Government who recent announced an intervention fund of N1Tr to mitigate the impact of the crisis. Aviation is expected to be a beneficiary of this fund.



  • The Norwegian government is supporting many domestic flights in Norway. This is being welcomed by unions and workers alike and is supporting jobs in both the air and on the ground in Norwegian aviation.



  • Cebu Pacific cabin crew have been told that they will receive basic pay for only March. The company has stopped negotiating with the union.



  • Russia is limiting scheduled international services to one per country. Additionally, foreigners are being denied access until at least May 1.




South Africa



  • Iberia will reduce 90% of its operation until June.
  • Ryanair workers in Spain have been told to use the grounded time to do conversion training to Air Malta, part of the Ryanair group which was created to cut labour costs.
  • Air Nostrum will cease all operations until 30 June.



  • Cityjet has come under fire in Sweden and across Scandinavia as it is refusing to apply for government support to pay workers. It is understood that this is in an effort to reduce the overall cost of its workforce long-term.
  • The airline has reduced operations by 80%.
  • It is understood that the OSM labour agency has laid off over 300 workers.
  • Stockholm’s Arlanda airport has closed one of its two terminals.



Taiwan will suspend the transit of passengers through the island from March 24 until April 7. 




Trinidad and Tobago

  • Authorities have closed all air borders from 23:59, March 22.



  • On 21 March, Turkey expanded flight bans to 46 more countries: Mauritania,  Algeria, Sudan, Angola, Philippines, Moldova, Montenegro, Bangladesh,  Ukraine, Tunisia, Poland, Portugal, Oman, Uzbekistan, North Macedonia,  the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Mongolia, Cameroon,  Taiwan, Canada, Slovenia, Chad, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Czechia, Morocco,  Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Nepal, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Equatorial  Guinea, Finland, Niger, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Ivory Coast, Jordan,  Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia and Lebanon.
  • On 22 March, Turkish Airlines announced that it would ground all international fights except 5 routes from 27 March to 17 April. The remaining destinations are Hong Kong, Moscow, Addis Ababa, New York and Washington. Cargo and domestic flights will continue.



  • Uganda Airlines has suspended operations from today March 23 until further notice. The Ugandan government has suspended all passenger flights to and from Entebbe International Airport effecting March 22.


United Arab Emirates


United Kingdom


United States of America



  • As of 12:00 on March, all inbound international flights have been suspended.

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