March 15, 2020 / 8:11 PM / 17 days ago

UPDATE 1-Auckland Airport suspends earnings guidance due to virus-driven border controls

(Adds background on border controls, Air New Zealand)

March 16 (Reuters) - Auckland International Airport suspended its full-year earnings guidance on Monday after New Zealand announced stringent border controls over the weekend to combat the fast-spreading coronavirus.

The country on Saturday announced the world’s tightest border controls to tackle the outbreak, requiring all incoming travellers, including its own citizens, to self-isolate for two weeks starting from midnight Sunday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the extreme measures were needed to prevent the rapid spread of the virus.

The airport operator had already cut its full-year profit outlook at the end of last week due to a coronavirus-driven fall in demand.

Air New Zealand also said on Monday it was cutting its domestic capacity by 30% in April and May, and that it would slash its long-haul network by 85% in the coming months.

An industry body recently estimated that passenger revenue for airlines could drop by as much as $113 billion this year. (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith and Jan Harvey)

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