Flights from Carlisle airport to Dublin will be suspended from March 23.

Route operator Loganair released a statement this morning, announcing it was cutting all its flights across the country by over 50 per cent due to the increasing impact of the coronavirus.

While flights to London Southend and Belfast appear not to be affected, the Dublin route will be suspended until May 31.

It said forward bookings were continuing to fall dramatically.

Jonathan Hinkles, chief executive of Loganair, said: “The coronavirus situation has worsened materially in the last four days, and we have now seen forward bookings fall by around 75 per cent versus their usual levels.

“From the end of next week, we will be implementing an emergency timetable, which will reduce our operations from around 214 to 95 scheduled flights each weekday – a cut of 55 per cent.

"We expect this to be a temporary reduction and we are implementing this until the end of May but may have to extend that timescale as the situation continues to develop.

“Customers booked on flights up to the end of May can change their reservation without a change fee to travel on a future date.

"However, if future flights are more expensive, the difference in fare will be payable. Where services are completely suspended a full refund will be applicable.

“I would strongly advise our affected customers to manage their booking through our website as we are experiencing exceptionally high call volumes into our call centre.

“The situation is incredibly serious and alongside the obvious health and safety implications, puts the future of the entire aviation industry in jeopardy.

With this in mind, we have joined with other UK carriers to seek emergency measures from the Government to support all airlines in the sector.”

Mr Hinkles revealed that Loganair staff have been asked to consider a series of measures aimed at protecting employment levels – including reducing working hours by 20 per cent and accepting a 20 per cent reduction in salary as a result or taking a period of unpaid leave.

He said: “We are working hard to avoid redundancies and lay-offs as have already been seen at major international airlines and as are likely to follow at several UK airlines in the coming days.”

A Carlisle Lake District Airport spokesman said: “Our airline partner, Loganair, has taken the difficult decision to suspend its air link from Carlisle Lake District Airport to Dublin Airport.

“The coronavirus outbreak is having a profound impact on how we live our lives and conduct our business. With that in mind, we hope our passengers and customers can understand this decision."