Pandemic could bankrupt airlines
March 16, 2020 - The coronavirus could have a $130 billion impact on the aviation industry -- more than three times worse than the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to IATA, the International Air Transport Association.
Airlines around the world are making drastic cuts to their flying schedules, shedding jobs and seeking government aid because of the fast-spreading coronavirus.
At the epicentre of the outbreak, China’s airline sector is taking the hardest hit, losing $3 billion in February alone, with an 84.5 per cent drop in passenger traffic and a 21 per cent drop in cargo flows. Now, IATA projects a 23 per cent drop in Chinese passenger numbers this year, with revenue dropping $22.2 billion.
China’s so-called “Big Four” carriers -- Air China, China Southern, China Eastern and HNA Group -- are facing an 85 per cent drop in flight capacity.
In Europe, IATA warns that airlines could see a reduction in passengers of up to 24 per cent this year, and a fall in passenger revenue of more than $37 billion. Also, President Donald Trump has slapped a 40-day travel ban on 26 European Schengen nations, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Last year the passenger market between the U.S. and Schengen nations was worth $20.6 billion.
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