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As Coronavirus Takes Flight, the Airline Industry Takes Cover

Mar 13, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This photo shows a rows of seats on a passenger aircraft.

A row of empty seats on a passenger aircraft. Travel restrictions and plummeting demand due to the coronavirus outbreak are ravaging the global airline industry, especially in key Asian and European markets.

(Peter Titmus/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the airline industry, with the most highly impacted countries of China, South Korea, Italy and Iran accounting for over a quarter of global passenger revenue alone. As panicked consumers continue to cancel or suspend their travel plans for fear of getting sick, and as more governments pursue containment measures and travel bans, an increasing number of airlines will be forced to either consolidate or go out of business. In China, this will likely lead to a market that's even more dominated by the state-backed carriers. Bigger airlines in Europe, meanwhile, will merge as revenue losses deal the final blow to their smaller competitors. But while so much is still unknown about how the outbreak will unfold in the weeks ahead, what remains certain is that the airline industry is headed for even more unexpected turbulence....

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