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UPDATE 1-U.S. airlines prepare new flight cuts after new UK, Ireland restrictions

David Shepardson and Tracy Rucinski

restrictions@ (Adds more details, background)

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO, March 14 (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines said on Saturday it plans to soon announce additional schedule changes to its European flights after the Trump administration said it was expanding travel restrictions to Britain and Ireland.

Vice President Mike Pence said the new travel restrictions will apply to Britain and Ireland starting Monday at midnight. They bar most non-U.S. citizens from entering the United States who have been in the U.K. or Ireland within the last 14 days. They do not bar flights to and from the US or Americans and permanent residents from travel.

Washington first imposed restrictions on China and expanded them this week to continental Europe. Last week's European changes prompted U.S. airlines to cut numerous flights.

Delta said Friday it would cut capacity by 40% in the next few months -- the largest reduction in its history -- and eliminate nearly all flights to continental Europe for the next 30 days. It will also park up to 300 aircraft.

United Airlines and American Airlines also announced new cuts to European service on Friday. Major U.S. airlines confirmed on Friday they had been in talks with the White House and Congress about financial assistance.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce late Friday called for urgent action, calling on the U.S. government to "turn next to a package to assist impacted employers... No business should go bankrupt because of a temporary loss in revenue as a result of the coronavirus."

Airlines are reeling from a plunge in bookings and traffic, as the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic prompts travel restrictions and event cancellations around the world.

In Europe, the situation is more dire.

Heavily indebted Norwegian Air said it had "weeks not months" to avert collapse. 1/8

KLM, the Dutch subsidiary of Air France-KLM, plans to slash up to 2,000 jobs, cut working hours by one-third for its entire staff and ask for government support.

German flagship carrier Lufthansa said on Friday it was considering a request for state aid.

Before the new UK curbs, British Airways Chief Executive Officer Alex Cruz issued a message to staff entitled "the survival of British Airways." It said jobs would be cut "perhaps for a short period, perhaps longer-term." Talks have begun with unions, he said.

Alexandre de Juniac, head of global industry body IATA, told Reuters revenue losses internationally would be probably more than the $113 billion the group forecast a week ago, before the Trump administration's announcement of U.S. travel curbs on Europe. (Reporting by David Shepardson and Tracy Rucinski Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)