Major airlines are cutting more capacity in Central and South America due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic as countries in the region implement new travel restrictions and border closures.
According to Reuters, the following destinations in Central and South America have announced new restrictions and border closures:
- On Sunday Argentina announced it will close its borders to non-residents for 15 days, and it has temporarily stopped issuing visas to travelers from the United States.
- Peru has closed its borders for 15 days, including air and sea transport.
- Panama is only allowing citizens and foreign residents to enter the country.
- Honduras has closed its borders for a week, except for the movement of goods.
Additionally, Chile has closed all land, sea and air borders as of Wednesday, March 18. Cruise ships will also be denied docking at Chilean ports through September 30.
In response to the situation, airlines are cutting flights.
LATAM Airlines Group and its subsidiaries will reduce capacity by 70 percent, including a 90 percent decrease in international operations and a 40 percent decrease in national flights. All affected passengers will be able to reschedule their flight through December 31, 2020, at no additional cost.
Delta has suspended its service between Atlanta and Guatemala City, with plans to resume April 20; service to Honduras, with plans to resume from Atlanta to Tegucigalpa/San Pedro Sula on March 23 and Saturday-only service from Atlanta to Roatan on March 28; and service to Lima, with plans to resume March 31. Starting March 22, the airline will also suspend service between Atlanta and Panama City, with plans to resume March 31. Delta has waived change fees for customers traveling to, from or through these destinations through April 30.
American Airlines has suspended service from New York – JFK and Miami to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Georgetown, Guyana, as well as from Dallas – Fort Worth, JFK, Los Angeles and Miami to São Paulo. The airline has also suspended service from Dallas – Fort Worth and Miami to Santiago, Chile; Bogota, Colombia; Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador; and Lima, Peru; as well as from Miami to Brasilia and Manaus, Brazil; and Barranquilla, Cartagena, Cali, Medellin and Pereira, Colombia.
If a customer on an affected American Airlines flight chooses not to rebook, they can request a refund at aa.com/refunds.
All of these airlines are asking that only customers with flights within the next 72 hours call due to a high number of inquiries.