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Tipsheet

Why Airlines Are Flying Scores of 'Ghost Flights' During Wuhan Virus Outbreak

Cheng Min/Xinhua via AP

The Wuhan virus is spreading fear around the globe thanks to a Trump deranged and irresponsible media. This isn’t some superbug, folks. The seasonal flu is still deadlier. Now, that’s not to say you shouldn’t wash your hands regularly or take any of the precautions recommended by health officials that greatly reduce the chance of you getting sick. Regardless, those most at risk are the usual suspects: the elderly and the immunocompromised. A large chunk of the deaths in the U.S. from the WuFlu, which is extremely low compared to seasonal flu, stems from the Washington nursing facility. Yet, this outbreak has done something else. It’s forced airlines to waste thousands on fuel on so-called ghost flights to avoid having their slots handed off to competitors. As Business Insider reported, Europe has a regulation stating that an airline must run 80 percent of its flights to avoid having their slots being allocated elsewhere:

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Airlines have wasted thousands of gallons of fuel running empty "ghost" flights during the coronavirus outbreak because of European rules saying operators can lose their flight slots if they keep their planes on the ground.

Demand for flights has collapsed across the globe amid growing fears about the outbreak.

Under Europe's rules, airlines operating out of the continent must continue to run 80% of their allocated slots or risk losing them to a competitor.

This has led to some operators flying empty planes into and out of European countries at huge costs, The Times of London reported.

On Thursday, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps wrote to Airport Coordination Limited asking for the rules to be suspended during the outbreak to prevent further environmental and economic damage.

[…]

The International Air Transport Association has estimated that the outbreak could wipe out up to $113 billion in airline sales worldwide.

Cruise lines are also going to suffer. In fact, the hurt has been felt everywhere. The circuit breakers were tripped on trading yesterday after the Dow Jones fell 1,800 points at the opening bell. It dipped seven percent. It’s rebounded some this morning, but trillions have been removed from the market as a result of this Wuhan virus that has been overblown to no end. Again, not saying it’s not serious. It is—but context is missing entirely here. This year some 18,000 have died from the seasonal flu, with around 32-45 million Americans infected. That’s just the U.S. Keep that in mind the next time the liberal media peddles a doomsday prediction with this virus. 

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