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Airlines stand to lose $27.8 billion in coronavirus crisis: IATA trade body

Paris (AFP), Airlines operating in the Asia-Pacific region stand to lose a combined $27.8 billion of revenue this year in the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the International Air Transport Association said on Thursday.

The estimate is based on projections of a 13-percent full-year decline in passenger demand, mostly in China, the trade body said in a statement.

IATA said its estimate assumed that COVID-19 behaves like a SARS outbreak nearly two decades ago, which was "characterised by a six-month period with a sharp decline followed by an equally quick recovery".

Airlines in China's domestic market alone are estimated to lose around $12.8 billion in revenues.

Carriers outside the Asia-Pacific region are seen suffering $1.5 billion in losses.

This brings worldwide airline revenue lost to the virus to a projected $29.3 billion, IATA said.

If however, the virus spreads more widely to Asia-Pacific markets then impacts on airlines from other regions would be larger, IATA warned.

IATA had previously estimated Asia-Pacific airlines to register growth of 4.8 percent this year, but they are now on course instead for a contraction of 8.2 percent, it said.

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