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What does the new European travel ban mean for air travelers

These four countries are not included in the travel ban. However, there are no direct flights from these countries to the United States. Passengers will have to travel through a country affected by the travel ban – such as Frankfurt, Germany – or via Istanbul or London, which are not affected by the ban.

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Delta Air Lines is the largest transatlantic airline, with 266 flights from Europe to the United States per week, according to Cirium, an airline data research firm. Including all carriers, there are approximately 1,500 flights per week from Europe to the United States, with over 400,000 passengers. Norwegian Airlines alone operates 59 flights carrying 20,000 passengers. (More information on Norwegian below).

All transatlantic carriers should be concerned. The ban will most likely lead to a drastic and sudden reduction in the flight offer. Passengers of low cost carriers, in particular, may wish to consider organizing the reserve trip; those airlines will be immediately affected by the loss of passenger revenue and are more likely to cut flights.

Norwegian Airlines announced Thursday that it will drastically cut the number of flights from Europe to the United States, canceling around 4,000 flights and temporarily laying off 50 percent of its employees.

In a statement, the low cost airline said that from Friday until the end of March, all flights to the United States from Amsterdam, Madrid, Oslo, Stockholm, Barcelona and Paris would be canceled. Although Norwegian flights between Gatwick airport and the United States are not affected, and the airline said it would attempt to redirect European passengers through that airport, the airline, already in financial difficulty, may not be able to able to resist this sharp reduction in sales.

Direct flights are more likely to continue operating from major hubs than from smaller destinations.

Many airlines previously announced generous modification policies for travelers wishing to cancel their itineraries, regardless of origin and destination. For example, American Airlines allows passengers who booked a trip through April 30 to cancel the itinerary and rebook for a later period, until December 31. Passengers will generally have to pay a difference in fare.

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