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Coronavirus to slash up to $5bn from airlines' Q1 revenue

Impact 'greater than SARS' as 70 carriers stop all China routes: UN agency

Thai Airways crew disinfect the cabin of an aircraft during a procedure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport in January. (Photo by Akira Kodaka) 

SINGAPORE -- About 70 airlines have canceled all international flights to and from China due to the new coronavirus outbreak, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization, with the United Nations agency expecting airlines worldwide could lose up to $5 billion in revenue for the January-March quarter.

The ICAO pointed out that the impacts on the airline industry were expected to be "greater than those caused by the 2003 SARS epidemic," citing the higher volume and greater global extent of the flight cancellations being seen.

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