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Coronavirus forces Asian airlines to ground over 1,000 planes

Credit damage likely to persist after crisis subsides despite government support

Korean Air passenger jets take a breather at Incheon International Airport on March 24. Many Asian airlines have drastically reduced flights and grounded fleets.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- The air space above Asia is quickly becoming jetliner-free now that airline operators are grounding most of their planes, and in some cases entire fleets, as the coronavirus crisis rages and demand plunges. In seven economies that have imposed lockdowns or border control measures, over 1,000 airplanes are now parked on tarmacs.

The pandemic is hopscotching the globe, mostly leaving China for Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and now South and Southeast Asia. A number of countries are experiencing explosive growth in the number of new infections, including some of China's neighbors who thought they dodged a bullet when the crisis did not immediately impact them in a big way.

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