COVID-19 threatens to erase 29 billion dollars of this year’s revenue for global airlines, mostly for Chinese carriers, as travel crashes worldwide, according to the International Air Transport Association.
The trade group for global airlines said the virus has the potential for causing a 13 percent decline in demand for Asian carriers in 2020. The contraction comes at a time when Asian airlines’ sales had been growing, the group said. Global air traffic will be reduced by 4.7 percent for the year, marking the first overall decline in such demand since the financial crisis of 2008.
International airlines including British Airways, Germany’s Lufthansa, Australia’s Qantas and the three largest U.S. airlines have suspended flights to China, in some cases until May.
Travel restrictions inside China and fear of the illness have devastated demand for domestic flights in the fast-growing China market.