IATA: Virus may slash $29 billion from airlines’ revenue

In this Jan. 30, 2020, file photo, travelers wearing face masks stand in line at the check-in counters for Cathay Pacific at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China. The outbreak of the new virus threatens to erase $29 billion of this year's revenue for global airlines, mostly for Chinese carriers, as travel crashes worldwide, according to the International Air Transport Association. (Source: AP Photo/Erika Kinetz, File)

TOKYO (AP) — The International Air Transport Association says the outbreak of the new virus is threatening to erase $29 billion of this year’s revenue for global airlines, mostly for Chinese carriers, as travel crashes worldwide.

The trade group for global airlines said Thursday the virus causing COVID-19 has the potential to cause a 13% decline in demand for Asian carriers this year.

The contraction comes at a time when Asian airlines’ sales have been growing.

IATA said global air traffic will be reduced by 4.7%, marking the first overall decline in such annual demand since the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.

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