Coronavirus to deal $27 bil. blow to airlines in Asia-Pacific

21, Feb. 2020

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NEW YORK, Kyodo - Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region will lose $27.8 billion in revenues in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis, an industry body estimated Thursday, with global demand for flights falling for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.

Demand in the region is expected to contract 8.2 percent from the previous year, a downgrade from a 4.8 percent projected increase before the coronavirus outbreak took hold in China, according to the International Air Transport Association.

The bulk of revenue loss will be borne by airlines operating in China, with the $12.8 billion to be lost in the domestic market alone, the IATA said.

"We estimate that global traffic will be reduced by 4.7 percent by the virus which could more than offset the growth we previously forecast," the association said.

With fewer people traveling due to fears of infection with the pneumonia-causing virus, the industry could see the "first overall decline in demand since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009."

Total global revenue loss is estimated at $29.3 billion while passenger demand will likely drop 0.6 percent against the earlier forecast of 4.1 percent increase, the association said. (Kyodo)