Rome’s Ciampino airport, which hosts popular budget airlines, is set to close, as well as the main terminal in the city’s central airport, Italian authorities have announced. The move comes as coronavirus devastates air traffic.
Ciampino, known for hosting discount airlines such as Ryanair, will close its doors on March 14. A terminal at Fiumicino airport will also stop operations started from March 17.
The decision comes as Italy has closed schools and businesses in hopes of containing the spread of coronavirus. However, it appears the move was also motivated by financial realities: a wave of flight cancellations has made it unfeasible to operate both airports at once. However, airport authority Aeroporti di Roma noted that cargo aviation activities would be remain unchanged.
Italy’s government has already banned all non-essential travel and public gatherings until April 3, and closed schools and universities nationwide.
The European country has endured the largest coronavirus outbreak outside China, with more than 800 dead and more than 12,000 infections.