Czech Airlines and Smartwings are suspending all flights to and from the Czech Republic, starting on Monday. This follows a new Coronavirus-response directive from the government to ban all travelers from entering or leaving the country.
Previously, the central European country had only banned flights arriving from areas most hit by the Coronavirus (also known as Covid-19), including China, South Korea and northern Italy.
The suspension of the two airline’s Czech-based operations is due to last until the government lifts its travel restrictions, which affects both nationals and foreigners.
Smartwings Group, which is also the parent of Czech Airlines (CSA), further says it is grounding up to 23 of its 44 aircraft. Unrelated to the current crisis, an additional seven Smartwings Boeing 737 MAX 8 have been grounded since March 2019.
Czech Airlines is operating its entire fleet to and from Prague Airport, while Smartwings has subsidiaries and bases in several central and eastern European countries.
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Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.