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Australian airline Qantas Group has temporarily cut flight operations across Asia due to coronavirus (Covid-19). The announcement is in response to a drop in demand following the virus outbreak.

The group’s half-year financial results estimate the net impact of (Covid-19) to be between A$100m ($66.4m) and A$150m ($99.6m) for FY20.

As part of this move, Qantas and Jetstar’s operations between Australia and New Zealand will be reduced by around 5%.

Until the end of May, Qantas International and Jetstar Group will reduce their Asia capacity by at least 16% and 14% respectively.

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Qantas International’s networks, including the US and UK, will remain unaffected by the reductions.

Meanwhile, the airlines will offer alternatives for customers with existing bookings who are impacted by the move.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “Coronavirus resulted in the suspension of our flights to mainland China and we’re now seeing some secondary impacts with weaker demand on Hong Kong, Singapore and, to a lesser extent, Japan. Other key routes, like the US and UK, haven’t been impacted.

“We’ve also seen some domestic demand weakness emerging, so we’re adjusting Qantas and Jetstar’s capacity in the second half.

“We can extend how long the cuts are in place, we can deepen them or we can add seats back in if the demand is there. This is an evolving situation that we’re monitoring closely.”

Coronavirus measures across major airports 

The Covid-19 death toll has reached 2,128, while the number of confirmed cases reached 75,725 as of 19 February.

Flag carrier Singapore Airlines recently decided to temporarily reduce flight services across its network as the virus affected passenger traffic.