Mar 16, 2020 - Economy & Business

Virgin Atlantic asks staff to take 8 weeks unpaid leave amid coronavirus cuts

Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images

Virgin Atlantic announced Monday that it would ask staff to take eight weeks of unpaid leave as it faces shrinking demand and route reductions amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: The spread of the novel coronavirus "has accelerated the sharp and continual drop in demand for flights across Virgin Atlantic’s network, meaning immediate and decisive action is needed," the airline said. It announced it will reduce flights per day by about 80% — including terminating its route between Newark and London Heathrow — and park about 75% of its fleet by March 26.

Go deeper: United Airlines to cut capacity by 50% over the coronavirus

Go deeper

Air-travel industry group: Coronavirus could cost airlines $113B

Photo: Marina Lystseva\TASS via Getty Images

The coronavirus outbreak could cost airlines up to $113 billion in lost revenue from declines in air travel in the spring and early summer, the International Air Transport Association said Thursday in a press release.

Why it matters: The IATA estimates that airlines could experience a 19% loss in passenger revenues if the virus extensively spreads in countries that now have 10 or more confirmed cases as of March 2.

Stocks have worst day since 1987

Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

The S&P 500 closed 12% lower on Monday, while the Dow fell 13% (or 2,999 points).

Driving the news: The sell-off accelerated during President Trump's afternoon press conference as concerns about the coronavirus outbreak's economic impact continued to grip markets.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 16, 2020 - Economy & Business

White House urges public to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people

The White House's coronavirus task force announced tougher guidelines on Monday to help slow the spread of the disease, including limiting social gatherings of more than 10 people.

Why it matters: The tougher guidelines, which will be in place for at least a 15-day period, come as the number of reported cases in the U.S. has surpassed 4,000. President Trump said the changes to everyday life as a result of the crisis could be the "new normal" in the U.S. until July or August.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 16, 2020 - Health