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Live Reporting

Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

  1. Good bye

    That's all from the BBC Business Live page for today. Please join us again tomorrow from 06:00 for Budget coverage.

  2. UK 'can't go climate neutral before 2050'

    Plane flies over field

    The UK cannot go climate neutral much before 2050 unless people stop flying and eating red meat almost completely, a report says.

    But it warns that the British public do not look ready to take such steps and substantially change their lifestyle.

    The report challenges the views of campaign group Extinction Rebellion.

    It believes the UK target of climate neutrality by 2050 will result in harm to the climate.

    Read more here.

  3. Irish airlines suspend Italy flights

    Ryanair plane

    Ryanair is suspending all Italian flights until 8 April, and Aer Lingus is has cancelled all flights to and from the country until 3 April, Irish broadcaster RTE reports.

    Ryanair said passengers who need to fly home can switch to one of its flights which are operating up to and including Friday.

    An airline spokesman said: "The situation is changing on a daily basis, and all passengers on flights affected by travel bans or cancellations are receiving emails and are being offered flight transfers, full refunds or travel credits.

    "Ryanair apologises sincerely to all customers for these schedule disruptions, which are caused by national government restrictions and the latest decision of the Italian government to lock down the entire country to combat the Covid-19 virus."

    Ryanair reduced its passenger target for the 12 months to the end of March by three million to 154 million, but it does not expect this to have a "material impact" on profits.

  4. Korean Air 'cannot guarantee its survival'

    Korean Air flight crew

    Korean Air has warned that the virus outbreak could threaten its survival after it scrapped more than 80% of its international capacity, grounding 100 of its 145 passenger aircraft.

    "The situation can get worse at any time and we cannot even predict how long it will last," Woo Kee-hong, the president of South Korea's biggest airline, said in a memo to staff.

    "But if the situation continues for a longer period, we may reach the threshold where we cannot guarantee the company's survival."

  5. Easyjet cancels Italy flights over next two days

    Tom Burridge

    Transport correspondent, BBC News


    Easyjet has confirmed that it has cancelled all of its flights to and from Italy for the next two days.

    The airline is in the process of reworking its schedule.

    It’s likely that Easyjet will follow other airlines and cancel the vast bulk of flights for the coming weeks.

    However it’s probable that a handful of flights will be kept to help British nationals in Italy who need to travel back to the UK.

  6. EC 'ready to act on ghost slots'

    Ursula Von der Leyen

    The European Commission is ready to act on airlines operating "ghost flights" to keep airport slots.

    Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said: "The commission will put forward, very rapidly, legislation regarding so-called airport slots.

    "We want to make it easier for airlines to keep their airport slot even if they do not operate flights in those slots because of the declining traffic.

    "This is a temporary measure, and this temporary measure helps both our industry, but it also helps our environment.

    "It will relieve the pressure on the aviation industry and in particular, on smaller airline companies. But it will also decrease emissions by avoiding so-called ghost flights... It’s just one example of a sector when help is needed and we’re ready to act".

  7. Hundreds of flights between UK and Italy cancelled

    Passenger with facemask at Heathrow

    Hundreds of flights between the UK and Italy have been cancelled due to the coronavirus, leaving some passengers stranded.

    British Airways suspended all flights to and from Italy on Tuesday, while Ryanair said no flights will serve the country from Saturday.

    EasyJet has cancelled dozens of its Italian flights.

    British Airways refused refund requests to passengers booked on flights to Italian airports outside the north of the country until the Foreign and Commonwealth Office updated its travel advice on Monday night.

    That means some passengers may have reluctantly travelled to Italy to avoid losing money and now face a struggle to get home.

  8. British Airways asks staff to take voluntary unpaid leave

    Tom Burridge

    Transport correspondent, BBC News

    British Airways planes

    British Airways has sent an email to all of its staff asking them to take voluntary unpaid leave after the reduction of its flight schedule because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

    Other airlines have taken similar measures.

    The BBC has not yet seen the email to staff but a number of sources at the airline have confirmed it has been sent.

    One source said that different departments were being offered different lengths of unpaid leave, ranging from a month to a year-long career break.

    British Airways this morning announced that it was cancelling all of its flights to and from Italy until 4 April.

  9. Spain cancels all flights from Italy

    Italy airport

    Spain has cancelled all flights from Italy for two weeks in a bid to stop coronavirus spreading.

    The measure will take effect from 11 March at midnight and continue until midnight of 25 March.

  10. EU could shake up slot rules

    The European Commission is looking at options including amending aviation slot rules in response to coronavirus outbreak, the EU Commission has said.

    "We are also looking into aviation because aviation is one of the sectors that are hardest hit obviously.

    "We are looking into that... including regards the rules governing the use of slots," Janez Lenarcic, the commissioner in charge of crisis management, told European lawmakers on Tuesday.

    A final decision has yet to be taken, as the 27 commissioners were still meeting, an EU official said.

  11. Can I rebook flights?

    Someone spraying an aircraft

    While insurers may not cover cancellations, some airlines are now letting passengers rebook flights instead.

    For example, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have waived their normal rebooking fees for passengers who want to change their flights.

    Delta and Air Canada have announced similar policies. So check with your individual airline to see what its rebooking policy is.

    Read more here.

  12. United Airlines to cut capacity by a fifth in May

    United Airlines plane

    US carrier United Airlines has said expects to cut the number of seats available on its flights by at least 20% in May due to the effects of coronavirus.

    It will cancel flights on a rolling 90-day basis until there are signs of recovery.

    The US airline also withdrew its guidance on how it thinks the business will do in the first quarter.

  13. What happens if I decide to cancel my trip?

    Departure board with cancellation

    If the government has not issued a warning about the country you are booked to visit, you cannot expect financial compensation if you decide to cancel.

    "In general, cancellation or travel disruption cover will activate when the FCO advises against all travel or all but essential travel to an area," says Su Crown, from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

    "Travel insurance is not designed to cover 'disinclination to travel' where the FCO advice has not changed to advise against travel."

  14. Shares rise in American Airlines

    American Airlines plane

    Investors shook off news from American Airlines that it would cancel 7.5% of its domestic flights in April and reduce international flights over the summer by 10%.

    The airline said it could not give guidance on its full year results becaus of uncertainty over the coronavirus outbreak.

    Nevertheless, American Airlines' share price increased by 4.5%, which was in line with the rest of the market, after it said that a fall in fuel prices was expected to drive about $3bn in cost savings this year.

  15. What about Spain?

    sagrada familia

    Norwegian Air, IAG-owned British Airways, Ryanair, Easyjet, Wizz Air and El Al Israel Airlines have all axed flights to and from Italy, where there have been more than 9,000 virus infections and over 460 deaths.

    But it's not just their Italian routes that those airlines will be worried about.

    Aviation analyst Mark Simpson, at Goodbody, said another major concern for the travel industry was whether the coronavirus epidemic would worsen markedly in European holiday hub Spain, which has reported more than 1,200 cases.

    "A similar outbreak in Spain would pull IAG into the fold, the holiday groups like Tui and Jet2," he said.

    "IAG would be much more exposed due to its ownership of Vueling, Iberia and the soon to be completed Air Europa."

  16. What are your travel rights?

    Family look at plane

    In general, insurers and airlines take their cue from official UK foreign travel advice.

    If you go against it, you risk invalidating your insurance policy.

    For example, if you intend to travel to China the situation is very clear-cut. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising against all but essential travel to mainland China and all travel to Hubei Province.

    If you are already in China, travel cover may not be valid in Hubei, but should continue elsewhere in the country (as long as your stay is essential). If the advice is against "all but essential travel" and your trip is essential, some insurers will still maintain cover.

    Your rights can also depend on your choice of airline and the small print of your insurance policy - so do read it carefully.

    Read more here.

  17. Korean Air fighting for 'survival'

    Korean Air employees

    Korean Air has warned the coronavirus outbreak could threaten its survival in a memo sent to employees.

    South Korea has been hit hard from travel restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

    Its national carrier has cut more than 80% of its international capacity while encouraging employees to take voluntary leave.

    In the memo, Woo Kee-hong, Korean Air's president said the airline couldn't predict how long the crisis would last.

    Read more here.

  18. Ryanair also cancels Italian flights

    Passengers wait to board a Ryanair flight

    Ryanair has joined rivals Easyjet and British Airways, among others, by cancelling flights to Italy following warnings over travel to the country because of the coronavirus outbreak.

    The no-frills airline has cancelled all international flights to and from Italy from the end of this week until 9 April.

    "Ryanair apologises sincerely to all customers for these schedule disruptions, which are caused by national government restrictions and the latest decision of the Italian government to lock down the entire country to combat the Covid-19 virus," a Ryanair spokesman said.

  19. Norwegian boss says it's a 'critical time' for airlines

    "This is a critical time for the aviation industry, including us at Norwegian," the airline's boss Jacob Schram said in a statement following news that the firm will cancel 15% of flights and temporarily axe staff because of the coronavirus outbreak.

    "We encourage the authorities to immediately implement measures to imminently reduce the financial burden on airlines in order to protect crucial infrastructure and jobs."

  20. All eyes on Trump

    Donald Trump

    Will markets continue to rally?

    According to Neil Wilson from, that depends on President Trump, who yesterday said he would discuss a payroll tax cut with congressional Republicans to help mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

    "The market rally today probably hinges on Donald Trump after his mooted tax cuts – support measures are to be detailed later today, so this is key," Mr Wilson said.

    Share indexes in London, Paris and Frankfurt all rose by around 3% before lunch.