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Oman Air, Ryanair cancel majority of flights due to COVID-19

Oman Air, Ryanair cancel majority of flights due to COVID-19
Ryanair and Oman Air announced Tuesday that they will ground most of their flights in response to government orders and other measures to prevent the spread of the global COVID-19 outbreak. File Photo by Aidan Crawley/EPA

March 24 (UPI) -- Oman Air and Ireland's Ryanair announced Tuesday that they would end most flights due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Oman Air, the national airline of Oman, announced plans to suspend all passenger flights beginning at noon on Sunday as the airline suspends operation of its fleet of more than 50 aircraft indefinitely.

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"This is a temporary suspension of our passenger services. We regret the difficulty and inconvenience this may cause, but it's vital for us as the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman to assist in the country's effort to combat the spread of COVID-19," Oman Air CEO Abdulaziz Al Raisi said.

The airline said it has yet to remove inventory so flights may still appear bookable in the coming weeks.

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It also announced that the once-daily service of Oman Air's domestic flight between Muscat and Khasab and Oman Air cargo operations will continue.

Meanwhile, Ryanair issued a message to customers saying the company expects "most of our flights" to be grounded from Tuesday onwards.

"At this time, no one knows how long this COVID shutdown will last," the airline said. "The experience in China suggests a 3-month period for the spread of the virus to be contained and reduced. We do not expect to operate flights during the months of April and May at this time but this will clearly depend upon government advice and we will in all cases comply with these instructions."

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Ryanair said that passengers whose flights are canceled as a result of the government shutdowns will receive an email outlining their options.

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