Commentary

Coronavirus: Crisis could reshape global airline industry

Weakest players may not survive, stronger ones set to benefit when recovery kicks in

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For an industry already struggling with unpredictable cost of fuel and criticisms from climate activists, the coronavirus is the cruellest blow.

Just as most of East Asia was going to bed at midnight last Thursday, the Geneva-based International Air Transport Association (Iata) announced its initial assessment of the impact of the outbreak on an industry that underpins global travel. According to Iata, whose membership counts almost 90 per of all global scheduled airlines, the coronavirus could cut passenger demand for Asia-Pacific carriers by 13 per cent this year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2020, with the headline Coronavirus: Crisis could reshape global airline industry. Subscribe