Reuters Chinese Edition recently reported that the global airlines are all on high alert regarding the developing Wuhan Pneumonia situation. They are assessing the potential impact on the aviation business. According to the statistics that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) published, at the SARS peak time in April of 2003, Asian business declined by 45 percent. At that time, Cathay Pacific reduced their flights by 40 percent, and so did Singapore Airlines, JAL and ANA. The airline industry depends more on Chinese passengers now than it did in 2003. According to Moody’s, today in Australia, 15 percent of the country’s total international visitors are from China. The same number was 3 percent in 2003. Based on the data that the Civil Aviation Administration of China provided, there were 6.8 million Chinese who took international flights in 2003. The same number was 63.7 million in 2018. Since the local authorities closed down the city, multiple airlines have cancelled their flights out of Wuhan.
Source: Reuters Chinese, January 23, 2020