Spain temporarily bans flights from Italy

Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling has hubs in Barcelona and Rome. Photo: © Matt Kieffer

Spain is temporarily banning all flights arriving from Italy due to the Coronavirus spread in Europe.

Flights originating in Italy will be prohibited from landing in Spain, starting midnight, the Spanish Ministry for Transportation announced on Tuesday afternoon. The ban is due to last until March 25.

A handful of exceptions have been listed, these include cargo, governmental, medical and humanitarian flights. Also allowed are non-commercial stops, for example for refueling, as well as emergencies.

All scheduled passenger flights are not allowed to fly from Italy to Spain, therefore resulting in heavy cancellations. Flights from Spain to Italy are not officially part of this ban.

Spain is informing the European Commission and the World Health Organization (WHO) about these measures. The country reported more than 400 new cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on Tuesday.

Since Monday, Italian flag-carrier Alitalia is not operating any flights from Milan Malpensa Airport and only domestic flights from Milan Linate Airport.

IAG-owned Spanish budget carrier Vueling is operating hubs in both Barcelona and Italian capital Rome. Alitalia, low-cost carriers Ryanair and EasyJet, as well as Vueling and its sister airline Iberia are the airlines offering most non-stop flights between the two southern European countries.

On Tuesday, Ireland-based Ryanair announced it is cancelling all of its Italy flights for four weeks, even beyond Spain.

According to Spanish airport operator Aena, there were on average around 100 flights from Italy to Spain every day.