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Ryanair to Cut Back Flights to Italy Amid Coronavirus Fears

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Per Reuters, Ryanair Holdings plc RYAAY plans to reduce flights to and from Italy by 25% following a significant drop in bookings in the region due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Capacity in the airline’s primary market, Italy, will be slashed for the period between Mar 17 and Apr 8. This European low-cost carrier witnessed a dramatic fall in ticket purchases over the past week and a "significant step up" passenger no-shows, especially from and within Italy.

However, Ryanair does not expect its flight cancellations to have as much of an impact on its current financial year ending Mar 31. As far as the virus’ impact on its next year ’s results is concerned, the carrier feels that it is "far too early to speculate".

In the wake of the virus outbreak, which caused a slowdown in air travel demand, Ryanair’s rivals British Airways and easyjet plc also announced flight cancellations.

Recently, U.S. airline American Airlines Group (AAL - Free Report) also suspended all flights to Milan from the United States citing a drop in demand. The airline suspended Milan flights from New York (JFK) and Miami through April 24.

Latin American carrier LATAM Airlines Group LTM also announced its decision to cancel flights from Sao Paulo to Milan through Apr 16 on the same grounds.

Zacks Rank & Another Key Pick

Ryanair sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Another top-ranked stock in the same space is Controladora Vuela Compania de Aviacion, S.A.B. de C.V VLRS, which carries the same Zacks Rank as Ryanair. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of Controladora Vuela have rallied more than 23% in a year’s time.

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