Company / Analytics

Analytics, 13 March 2020

Trump's ban on European travel effective tonight

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday temporarily banned travels originating from Continental Europe for 30 days, except for the UK to curb the #coronavirus. The ban takes effect at midnight today (Friday) and will impact anyone who has had access to the Schengen area within the last 14 days before their arrival in the United States, except for American citizens, U.S permanent residents and various categories of travelers. The travel ban, announced on Wednesday evening in the United States when Europeans were fast asleep, started causing shock waves even before the sun rose in Europe. Here’s how airlines, companies, and markets have so far reacted.

While the measure is necessary to protect public health in the United States, it adds to the economic pain already felt by the travel industry since the outbreak of #COVID-19. In the wake of the President’s announcement, anger, chaos, and turmoil erupted in Europe – from company boardrooms, stock exchange floors, airports, and government offices.

Stocks have been sent tanking and tempers rising across European capitals. In governmental circles, the European Union condemned Washington’s unilateral decision to affect the policy without consultation, noting that it was “taking strong action to limit the spread’’ of the coronavirus, and reminding the US that this is a global crisis not limited to any continent and requires cooperation to contain.

Turmoil erupted in European airports on Thursday morning as U.S. citizens were scrambling to fly out when they woke up to the news of the travel ban. Airlines may have made a kill that morning as some panicked travelers spent tens of thousands in last minute flights to the U.S. But this will not compensate for the damage the industry has suffered since the outbreak of the virus and the losses that will result from the ban itself.

Stock markets across the globe tanked after the announcement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 10% on Thursday with a 2350.60-point drop, in what has been described as the worst trading day since the October 1987 “Black Monday” crash. Asian and European stocks also plunged with double-digit losses while crude oil prices dropped in reaction to the effects of the ban on fuel demand for fuel. Tesla is reported to have rushed to send dozens of its employees back to the U.S. from Germany on Thursday.

Globally, major airlines have canceled flights, laid-off workers and have been struggling to reassure anxious travelers as bookings continued to evaporate. Investors are also losing confidence in the industry that now stands to lose millions of dollar revenues as trans-Atlantic flights decline when the ban takes effect tonight.

Norwegian Air was first to announce that it would temporarily lay off half of its staff and ground 40% of its long-haul flights and 25% of shorter flights. Delta Airlines will temporarily suspend most flights between Europe and the United States once the ban takes effect while United Airlines will continue to fly its existing schedule between the United States and Europe through March 19 after which it will suspend some flights.

Is banning travel the right approach? Can we ban the entire world? Your thoughts?

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