Coronavirus live news: France reports highest death toll since April; Italy deaths highest since mid-May

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Nearly 200 airports in UK and Europe could go bust due to collapse in air travel

Nearly 200 airports across the UK and Europe are at risk of going bust within months due to the dramatic collapse in air travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the European airports trade body has warned.

Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe), which represents airport operators, said it estimated that 193 out of Europe’s 740 commercial airports face “insolvency in the coming months if passenger traffic does not start to recover by the year-end”.

The trade body said the at-risk airports employed 277,000 people and generated collective annual revenues of €12.4bn (£11.2bn).

Olivier Jankovec, the director general of ACI Europe, said the figures “paint a dramatically bleak picture” for the future of the aviation industry, which has already suffered tens of thousands of job losses.

Eight months into the crisis, all of Europe’s airports are burning through cash to remain open, with revenues far from covering the costs of operations, let alone capital costs.

Governments’ current imposition of quarantines rather than testing is bringing Europe’s airports closer to the brink with every day that passes.

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