Posted: 20 February 2020

Airlines Warn of First Global Traffic Drop Since 2009 on Virus

The airline industry experts the first annual decline in global passenger demand in 11 years, after tallying up the initial impact of the thousands of canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

The estimate shaves about 4.7 percentage points off of a passenger-traffic forecast issued just two months ago, with almost all of the impact in the Asia Pacific region according to the International Air Transport Association. That may be conservative. The projections assumed losses will be limited to markets linked…

“Even as we see the number of new reported cases of coronavirus in China fall each day, airlines will continue to count the cost of the coronavirus outbreak for some time yet,” Alexander Sehmer, director of geopolitical intelligence at consultant Assynt, said in an email. “For now, people and companies are extremely wary of the potential risks of traveling. Therefore, tourism and corporate travel – with events even being canceled outside of China – will not pick up in the short term.

Beyond aviation, the virus has disrupted supply chains of the world’s largest carmakers and hit sales at companies from Apple Inc. to Burberry Group Plc and Nike Inc. Apple this week said it doesn’t expect to meet its revenue outlook this quarter.

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