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Paris's Orly airport to shut as passenger numbers plunge amid coronavirus crisis

A passenger walks outside a terminal at Orly Airport near Paris at Orly Airport near Paris before its closing to commercial flights today, due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, March 31, 2020.
A passenger walks outside a terminal at Orly Airport near Paris at Orly Airport near Paris before its closing to commercial flights today, due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, March 31, 2020. © Charles Platiau, Reuters

Paris’s Orly airport will shut down on Tuesday in light of the collapse in air traffic amid the coronavirus crisis.

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France’s biggest airport for domestic flights, Orly will be closed until further notice at midnight – after hosting just ten flights and around 1000 passengers on Tuesday, as the number of people taking flights has plunged thanks to the stringent measures adopted to try and contain the transmission of the coronavirus.

Under normal circumstances, Orly hosts 600 flights and 90,000 passengers. After its closure, the four companies still operating there (compared to more than 100 before the coronavirus pandemic) will move to France’s biggest airport Charles de Gaulle, on the other side of Paris.

Paris' Orly airport to shut as passenger numbers plunge amid coronavirus crisis

Charles de Gaulle is also reeling from the coronavirus crisis, with around 10,000 passengers a day compared to 200,000 before the pandemic struck.

The situation for French airlines is “simply catastrophic”, France’s National Commercial Aviation Federation warned on Tuesday, adding that the government’s proposals to help out distressed airlines are “necessary but not sufficient”.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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