Global air traffic demand fell 14% in February, the most since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as airlines were “hit by a sledgehammer called COVID-19,” theInternational Air Transport Association said.
The decline reflects a record collapse in travel in China that month and a 41% tumble in demand in the Asia-Pacific region, IATA said, warning that the situation has only grown worse.
“This is the biggest crisis that the industry has ever faced,” IATA’s Director General Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement. “The impact on aviation has left airlines with little to do except cut costs and take emergency measures in an attempt to survive in these extraordinary circumstances.”
“This is aviation’s darkest hour and it is difficult to see a sunrise ahead.” — IATA’s de Juniac
IATA, which represents some 290 carriers, said last month that airlines worldwide could lose $252 billion in revenue this year and burn through as much as $61 billion in the second quarter as travel slumps. Confirmed coronavirus cases globally have crossed 1 million with 53,000 deaths.
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