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The newly updated regulation on international passenger air traffic mentions 30 destinations affected by a flight ban. France might be one of them.

As part of the preventive measures against the spread of Covid-19, some commercial passenger flights to Poland have been temporarily suspended. The official list of countries affected by the travel ban is updated every two weeks. At a press conference last week, the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Marcin Horała, informed the public that all incoming passenger flights from France will be halted. He pointed out, however, that the plan of putting France on the list of countries covered by the flight ban is only preliminary. – If the infection rate continues to decline, France will be taken off the list- he said. 

Yet, France - together with 29 other countries, appears on the current list. The last one included a total of 44 destinations. 

Horała explained that the flight ban is supposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Poland. – It’s about reducing the speed, scale, and volume of travel – he said. 

Speculations about putting France and Croatia on the flight ban list were circulating for some time. In the end, however, unlike France, Croatia managed to escape the ban. 

Devastating news for the travel industry 

Given an increase in new cases of infection in particular countries, Poland decided to ban incoming flights from 30 destinations. At least that is the government’s official narrative. It’s important to emphasize that the ban covers only return flights to Poland – outgoing flights are still allowed. Charter flights in both ways aren’t affected by the restrictions either. 

It means that travel agencies can continue their business as long as they organize charter flights. Layover flights through Germany and the Netherlands are possible too. 

The restrictions, however, had been a fatal blow to commercial air traffic. Travel agencies began to registered major losses already in August when the unsettling news about plans to ban passenger flights was first revealed.

- What we’re dealing with is information chaos, plain and simple. We’ve been kept in the dark for a long time. We weren’t even sure whether the flight ban will be implemented. It was impossible to plan anything two weeks ahead; the work of travel agencies had been completely disorganized – sys Radosław Damasiewicz, Chief Executive Officer of Travelplanet.pl.

The mood is grim. Travel agencies are forced to limit their offer. – We’ve been hearing about travel restrictions to Spain for the past two weeks, but such information influences ticket sales to other, “safe” destinations not covered by the ban. Flights to Turkey, Greece, or Bulgaria are still possible, but no one wants to buy the tickets – Piotr Henicz, vice president of the Itaka travel agency, tells us. 

***

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