Last Update: at 11:38

Estimates by Icao

What the coronavirus epidemic will cost the aviation industry

Foreign airlines are extending their flight suspensions to China. These have already considerable financial consequences for the aviation industry.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health

The virus that causes Covid-19: More deaths than Sars.

Now the disease caused by the new coronavirus has been given a definitive name. It is now called Covid-19. The eight letters, signs and numbers have not only caused more than 1300 deaths. They also threaten to slow down the world economy, at least temporarily.

«Even if the epidemiological assumptions turn out to be overly pessimistic, it seems likely that the virus will have a more serious economic impact than sars», Bank Pictet analysts write. Cutting transport links, shutting down factories and sick people are reducing China’s economic output. But they also have a negative impact on other parts of the world through the slowdown in trade.

Up to 19 million passengers lost

Aviation is also suffering. Numerous airlines – such as Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and Swiss, but also Finnair and SAS – announced on Friday (February 14) that they would suspend their flights to mainland China until the end of the winter timetable at the end of March. Seventy foreign carriers have already suspended flights to the People’s Republic because of the Covid 19 epidemic, and another 50 have reduced their services.

In total, foreign providers reduced capacity to and from China by 80 percent, the International Civil Aviation Organization Icao estimates. Chinese airlines are still operating, but have also reduced their capacity by 40 percent. This corresponds to 16.4 to 19.6 million lost passengers, according to Icao. Currently there are still 2610 flights to and from China, most of them from Asia.

Provisional forecasts

And from this, the organization in turn derives a loss of four to five billion dollars in revenue for the airlines. This does not yet include the loss from the reduced cargo business. However, these are only provisional forecasts based on the current state of knowledge, she continues.

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