Via RT Business

Airlines will lose $63 billion to $113 billion in revenue for passenger traffic globally in 2020, depending on how the coronavirus spreads, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced.

While air passenger demand in January rose 2.4 percent year-on-year, it was the slowest growth rate since April 2010, according to IATA data.

IATA has attributed the weak demand to the Covid-19 outbreak, saying it expects a further weakening in February and March as the virus spreads outside China.

“January was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the traffic impacts we are seeing owing to the Covid-19 outbreak, given that major travel restrictions in China did not begin until 23 January,” said IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

“Nevertheless, it was still enough to cause our slowest traffic growth in nearly a decade.”

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According to de Juniac, the coronavirus outbreak is a “global crisis that is testing the resilience not only of the airline industry but of the global economy.” He said: “Airlines are experiencing double-digit declines in demand, and on many routes traffic has collapsed.”

The World Health Organization figures show that more than 95,200 people have been infected globally with the novel coronavirus. The number of deaths has exceeded 3,270.

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