Coronavirus responsible for loss of billions in aviation
The international aviation federation, IATA, estimates that the coronavirus will cost the sector at least 63 billion dollars (56 billion euros). When the virus spreads further, this amount can go up to 100 billion euros. These figures only relate to passenger flights.
A lot of airline companies try to compensate for the decreasing number of passengers and lowering the costs. Brussels Airlines will even cancel one-quarter of its flights, which represents about twenty flights a day with a departure from Brussels.
“A lot of people cancel their flight, especially business clients, because congresses won’t take place and companies impose flight restrictions,” a spokesperson of Brussels Airlines says. The company considers temporary unemployment for its staff.
Some experts already compare the situation with the crisis after 9/11. “If the coronavirus continues to spread with disappointing results for the Easter and summer holidays as a consequence, then the situation will become ‘a disaster’ for aviation, airports, and tourism,” says aviation expert Eddy Van de Voorde of the Antwerp University. “Lowering prices to seduce customers is useless since the price is not the reason for not flying.
Also, tourism will suffer due to the virus. Today, companies like Corendon, Connections, and Sunweb see fewer bookings and more canceled flights.