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Coronavirus

Coronavirus to cause $27.8bn revenue loss for Asian carriers: IATA

Global loss would be $29.3bn with demand set to fall for first time since 2009

Chinese airlines are set to bear the brunt of lost revenues caused by the coronavirus outbreak.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- The new coronavirus outbreak will result in revenue losses of $27.8 billion in 2020 to airlines in the Asia-Pacific region in 2020, nearly half of them Chinese carriers, the International Air Transport Association said on Feb. 20.

"We estimate that global traffic will be reduced by 4.7% by the virus, which could more than offset the growth we previously forecast and cause the first overall decline in demand since the global financial crisis of 2008-09," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.

The impact of the new coronavirus shows a potential 13% full-year loss of passenger demand for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. IATA initially expected that the region's airline demand will increase by 4.8% on the year. But as many airlines have canceled flights to and from mainland China and Hong Kong due to the outbreak, demand for flights in the region is excepted to drop by 8.2% on the year.

The IATA said it estimates total global lost revenue to be $29.3bn.

"We don't yet know exactly how the outbreak will develop," the IATA said in its statement, saying that it is premature to estimate what this revenue loss will mean for global profitability.

To mitigate the negative impact on the global economy, "Governments should take good note and act quickly," said de Juniac.

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