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Why Coronavirus Is Having a Bigger Impact on Global Airlines Than 9/11 | WSJ

March 10, 2020

– [Narrator] Canceled
flights, empty planes, and eerily quiet airports. This is what the impact of
the coronavirus epidemic looks like through the lens of travelers, and the effect is
visible in the skies too. One year ago, this is how many planes
were flying above China, and now, that same
airspace looks like this. The epidemic has led to an 80% drop in traffic at China’s busiest airports. The reduction in global capacity measured by how many seats remain grounded is greater than it was following SARS and even greater than after 9/11. – I think we have a whole
different ball game now compared to the 2001, 2003 issues. – [Narrator] So what impact is this having on the aviation industry? – If we look back in 10 years’ time, will this be seen as a
blip or a game-changer? (equipment humming) – [Narrator] The financial implications of suspended flights and routes are huge. – China’s become the second
biggest aviation market globally with airlines like American Airlines flying as many as 28 flights weekly. Obviously, now with the
coronavirus outbreak, that’s dropped down to zero. – [Narrator] To make matters worse, the cancellations and suspensions came directly after Chinese New Year when airlines normally see
a boost in ticket sales. – [Ian] Beyond impacting
just Chinese air traffic, you’re looking at where do
those passengers connect beyond China, where do they go
when they’re departing China? – A narrow-body aircraft
is costing in the order of $10,000 a day, whether
that’s been financed or whether it’s being leased. If you’re not flying it, it’s not just the $10,000
per day per aircraft. You’ve got crews sitting around, flight crews, cabin crews, yet the aircraft itself
will still need maintenance. A new wide-body aircraft
is going to be costing as much as $50,000 a day. – [Narrator] Cathay
Pacific and Asiana Airlines have both asked thousands of
staff to take unpaid leave. Hong Kong Airlines announced
it would lay of 400 workers. Its chairman said the changes were about ensuring its very survival, as reported by local media. Globally, IATA is forecasting a $29.3 billion loss in revenue for 2020. For context, the Icelanic volcano eruption that disrupted air traffic
across Europe for several days cost the industry $1.7
billion in lost revenue. Though nobody knows how
long the epidemic will last, the industry is already bracing for a hit that is expected to be harder
than after 9/11 or SARS. – [Ian] SARS is kind
of the benchmark here. The global share of the Chinese economy was so much lower than it is now, and now, where China’s
19% of the global economy, it’s a much bigger impact. – With the SARS outbreak in 2003, we saw it took a number
of months for the airlines to recover both demand and profits. What we’re really waiting to see now is how long the impact of
the coronavirus will be, and that really depends
on when we hit peak, for which we really have
no estimate at the moment. Back in 9/11 in 2001, it took about nine months before we saw really the industry recover
from the impact of the events. Now, with the coronavirus,
it’s a very different situation and it’s difficult to give an assessment, but analysts are expecting
that with the coronavirus, this could actually
last quite a bit longer. – [Narrator] After years of fast growth, the epidemic could cause
the global airline industry to contract for the first time
since the Financial Crisis according to industry analysts. Airlines say they’re looking
into ways to limit the damage, with Chinese companies
hoping they will get support from the government
like they did after SARS with bailouts, tax breaks, and mergers. – In terms of the types of airlines that could be affected by this, it could really be across
the whole spectrum. It won’t just be small
airlines or large airlines or airlines with a specific type. This will be impacting
virtually every airline that operates in and out of China. (pleasant electronic tones)


  • Reply Scott Man March 6, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    I share temporary DIY corona virus mask . Be strong!!

  • Reply lucas LIAO March 6, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    just flu, so many flu cases,the real sick man wall street…

  • Reply 0401412740 March 6, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    We need to stop China. Communism, espionage, censorship, dictatorship, propaganda, diseases and onerous loans.

  • Reply An On March 6, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    So glad chinese government losing money on mainland.That regime needs a slap in its face

  • Reply Carlton March 6, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    Thanks China

  • Reply Dexter Morgan March 6, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    commies literally global threat!

  • Reply Naghmana mazhar March 6, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    Allah. corona is nothing compared to what is waiting for us.

  • Reply Project Propaganda March 6, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    They are overusing that transition noise effect

  • Reply North Eastern Roberts March 6, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    I'M NOT FLYING even if it is fREE
    NO thanks

  • Reply Kevin Gilbert March 6, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    For the last 10 or 15 years these airlines were making h record profits by charging tons of extra fees and reducing comfort. This is just a temp balance variable.

  • Reply Josh Upmeyer March 6, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    Me in flight school about to become an airline pilot: Nahhh it’s good

  • Reply Henry Sharpe March 6, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    I live right under a flight path and I've really enjoyed the silence of barely any planes flying over. Thanks Coronavirus.

  • Reply John Smith March 6, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    Here's a hint for CEO's: why would I go into your store or business if you aren't taking this disease seriously? But I went to the grocery store a week ago and the checkout people were sneezing and coughing, no masks, not nothing. I now buy everything online from Amazon and Target. Amazon Fresh is great. Same with travel, none of these airlines is requiring people to wear masks. So there is NO way I'm traveling. Enjoy bankruptcy. It was the executive class that decided to ignore this. They are the one's trying to hide this danger thinking it will be good for business.

  • Reply Petrichor Sweven March 6, 2020 at 9:26 pm

  • Reply Waves Toronto March 6, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    This video has asmr sound effects.

  • Reply alek March 6, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    I’m still gonna fly in the US until we have millions infected

  • Reply D DN March 6, 2020 at 10:41 pm

    I know someone who flew to the us from Europe. She said everything is normal. This is fake news.

  • Reply Joseph Brown March 6, 2020 at 10:45 pm
    Hi my Friend …please look this information
    All the countries which have 5 G including cruise ships in quarantine and which are contaminated by the virus which in it even, is not fatal because the symptôme are like a simple influenza kind influenza …. is the 5G which which activates the deadly genes of the virus … the controllers are evil and not Human

  • Reply TheSushiandme March 6, 2020 at 10:46 pm

    All i hear is that I finally can travel without people being around. 🙂

  • Reply Carl Horn March 7, 2020 at 12:33 am

    I don't think this is just a China thing? Like US and around the world conferences, company traveling is shutting down. And the Summer cruise season is going to begin…who would want to get stuck on a cruise ship for days or weeks?

  • Reply Zhanwen Chen March 7, 2020 at 12:37 am

    The thumbnail is racist, which is a signature WSJ (trademark) move.

  • Reply vgernyc March 7, 2020 at 12:48 am

    "SARS is kind the benchmark here"
    "I am the son of SARS by the way" SARS-CoV-2 aka "Coronavirus"

  • Reply ro pro March 7, 2020 at 12:57 am

    Lol, maybe covid-19 was a plot by the environmental terrorists.

  • Reply Stacy Clarkson March 7, 2020 at 12:58 am

    Good no flights from China to USA!!

  • Reply Adam Smith. March 7, 2020 at 12:58 am

    Reconsider China being world's factory.

  • Reply Fresh Clash March 7, 2020 at 1:22 am

    A local British Airline called Flybe had to shut down because of the impact of Coronavirus.

  • Reply strong March 7, 2020 at 1:23 am

    Ok, just a little tidbit here……NO ONE GIVE A FLYING ####### ABOUT AIRLINE LOSS IN PROFIT

  • Reply Xan penguin March 7, 2020 at 1:33 am

    Who knew a virus outbreak is having a worse effect on global aviation than a terrorist attack in the US. I'm sorry WSJ but come on this is pretty obvious to tell. 9/11's impact was more regulation and fees added to the tickets within the US. Corona Virus is already seeing a longer cancelation period than 9/11. And is more difficult to make people fly when it is their destination they are worried about. Not the flight itself. Of course, this will have a greater impact on Global Airlines. Half the world's airlines say no long term effects from 9/11. European and middle eastern airlines had already dealt with skyjackings.

  • Reply R Addy March 7, 2020 at 1:50 am

    Maybe the airlines will take out every other seat row allowing more legroom.

  • Reply Rurou’nin Lee March 7, 2020 at 2:07 am

    good for global warming….

  • Reply James Rogers March 7, 2020 at 2:14 am

    It's perfectly safe to fly. You'll be the only one on the airplane other than the pilot.

  • Reply Wayne Riesterer March 7, 2020 at 2:44 am

    It's a great opportunity for thorough aircraft/airport maintenance, project works and so forth.

  • Reply Chang Lee March 7, 2020 at 2:54 am

    Airlines are virus transporters

  • Reply قدرت چینی चिनियाँ शक्ति March 7, 2020 at 3:09 am

    I was on a domestic flight in China last week. A 320 with only 20 passengers onboard. Ticket cost me 30 USD. Everyone sits separately and keeps distance. No food or drink served. No chance to take off mask during 2hr flight. AC ventilation was on maximum power.

  • Reply Rayquelle Grayson March 7, 2020 at 3:17 am

    Its Tuberculosis. These people are being misdiagnosed.

  • Reply White And Proud March 7, 2020 at 3:30 am

    All blame should be put on China and the Chinese people.

  • Reply Por Que March 7, 2020 at 3:47 am

    I flew to singapore 3 days ago. Mind you they have around 113 cases of covid at that time but airport was busy as usual and i could count how many people wore masks. Media makes it overrated.

  • Reply Major Lexx March 7, 2020 at 3:59 am

    China needs to pull its head in and realise its selfish impact on people, the environment and business. Bunch of idiots. Time for the west to step in, remove their pathetic government and civilise that society. Start by banning their wildlife trade, the festival of the dogs and stop the people dobbing each other in. Also start properly taxing the wealthy to improve the lives of the rest of their 1.3 billion people living in appalling conditions compared to other emerging nations. Probably should also revamp their education system as the people I meet know their book smarts but are seriously oblivious to the rest of the world and their own history. Thanks chairman "meow".

  • Reply Anthony C Brown March 7, 2020 at 3:59 am

    The density in which passengers are packed into planes is a major potential factor in the spread of the virus which must be assessed. It's difficult to think of any other travel modality where a person can be so close in proximity to another (over a domestic USA flight- 5 hours – or international flight – 8+ hours – in coach class). 1) You are sharing the same bathrooms, 2) when someone leaves their seat to go to the bathroom your fellow passenger may inadvertently touch your armrest or tray table 3) The flight attendants are touching completed food plates and cups of one or more passengers (usually with no gloves).

    How many people at the airport touch your bag handles to load / unload /collect luggage? How many people get off a plane and head straight to the public bathroom? With all the different potential exposure points, air travel is a high risk proposition.

    Imagine the potential risks the airplane cleaning crews are exposed to: 1) international travelers, 2) no masks, 3) no gloves (unless things have recently changed) and they go home to their families at the end of their shift.

  • Reply Fearless Wings March 7, 2020 at 4:11 am

    how can we not be ANGRY with CHINA. they have disrupted our lives, our health, our jobs and our families r stressed. our economies are going to sink. there will be job losses. children schools shut

  • Reply The Stig's Japanese Cousin March 7, 2020 at 4:40 am

    Biological weapon

  • Reply HhSs March 7, 2020 at 4:46 am

    I wonder how the Chinese government still claims that their economy grows 5-6% this quarter, more likely its in a harsh decline. Considering all countries stopped or reduced communications and trade with China during the outbreak.

  • Reply 👨🏻‍💻 March 7, 2020 at 5:15 am

    Everybody is over reacting 🤦‍♂️

  • Reply gmax876 March 7, 2020 at 5:20 am

    Probably a good time to get a good deal on a Sandals vacation.

  • Reply Chef de Prestige LLC March 7, 2020 at 5:30 am

    Support from the Government hahahahahahaha yeah right

  • Reply Anish Muthigi March 7, 2020 at 5:58 am

    Corona virus is not just a China’s problem … it’s not just the airlines that fly in, thorough or out of China.. it’s all the airlines. For instance even Indian domestic carriers are seeing reducing traffic (almost 40%) down

  • Reply Guinness March 7, 2020 at 6:44 am

    Seems like America is woefully ill prepared for this. I hear people will be charged four thousand dollars for ancillary services related to the test for it. Don't worry though, they've promised they the test itself will be absolutely free

  • Reply David Lee March 7, 2020 at 7:18 am

    to be honest, I'm looking forward to seeing a virus outbreak in the states, I'm sorry but not really… the funny thing is, this is actually an "american pneumonia" originated in the states, REAL EVIL SICK MAN OF THE WORLD, welcome it back home and enjoy, since no test, no updates then no cases, have fun

  • Reply Puddy S March 7, 2020 at 7:46 am


  • Reply Warren - March 7, 2020 at 8:32 am

    Mum, I'm scared

  • Reply ATIPAT 1212 March 7, 2020 at 8:47 am


  • Reply ATIPAT 1212 March 7, 2020 at 8:47 am


  • Reply しあわせ March 7, 2020 at 9:03 am

    the communist party of china is absolutely responsibile for this outbreak. we have to request them donate for global economic ression.

  • Reply skylineXpert March 7, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Last month the airline trafic declined 4.3%

    Some hippies may be happy

  • Reply Red Merc March 7, 2020 at 9:31 am

    Atleast airplanes will be cleaned now

  • Reply Jessica Emilia March 7, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Because this is a silent enemy.

  • Reply harsha mithinti March 7, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    I think the title "than 9/11" , doesn't make sense. There is large difference between these two problems.

  • Reply Officer Budd White March 7, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    The human race is greedy to exploit mother earth and never want to die due to its pains but hurths earth other way

  • Reply Ben Davis March 7, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    I'm flying to New Orleans in May from London with Lufthansa. So far they're not banning long haul flights but do you reckon they will? Proper stressing out!

  • Reply Luke Carlin March 7, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Rip flybe

  • Reply Christopher Dukes March 7, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Can't wait for a cruise ship to myself 😂🤣

  • Reply Christopher Dukes March 7, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Lol, one year slow down leads to a 50% discount on airline stocks based on a 10-20 year model. Time to go shopping 🙌

  • Reply assassinate241 March 7, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    Trade war, slowing economic growth, Boeing, Virus outbreak. If 80% of airlines go bankrupt- should we be surprised in an industry that's almost always on the edge of collapse?

  • Reply Achyuta Krishna March 7, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    Corruption destroyed , Congress parry(india)
    Corona virus is going to destroy China economy.

  • Reply Robert Kelly March 7, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Overdramatise in reality.

  • Reply Anand S. March 7, 2020 at 7:03 pm

    Background music and sound effects don’t mix with the spoken word! 🤦🏾‍♂️ The vídeo distracts from itself.

  • Reply Xahana Rider March 7, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    Increase health budget not military

  • Reply Hoover E Londono March 7, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    All fake news the Chinese Govt created to distract from Hong Kong catastrophe

  • Reply Mike D March 7, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    Curious question: would an airline still fly their huge jumbo even if only a dozen passengers onboard? Or they just cancel it ?

  • Reply Hey GUY! March 7, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    I hope the airlines all go bankrupt!

  • Reply NNoMore PlaNN March 7, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    Don’t forget to pop those red bionic point and dna point

  • Reply Anunnaki Menagerie March 7, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    The airlines would have been smart to stop flying people immediately, but instead they kept flying people all around the world, causing a much bigger problem, that will cost them way more in the long run

  • Reply Ashraf Sheikh March 8, 2020 at 12:04 am

    Love you China 😘😘😘😘😘

  • Reply T W March 8, 2020 at 12:23 am

    well at least good for the environment and im happy with that

  • Reply MMO Archives March 8, 2020 at 12:33 am

    i'm sure the virus is why AA is tanking and not how they handle passengers

  • Reply Cinxirios March 8, 2020 at 1:17 am

    Flights are actually cheaper now

  • Reply Matthew Boyd March 8, 2020 at 2:54 am

    Glad something is fighting climate change by lowering air travel.

  • Reply Gary McAleer March 8, 2020 at 3:04 am

    WSJ, Brother Tim Pool shared a very profound assessment of this pandemic by Liz Specht on Twitter. She also posted a numerical summation by Seth Bannon. Here it is:

    American Hospital Association "Best Guess Epidemiology" for @ over next 2 months:
    96,000,000 infections
    4,800,000 hospitalizations
    1,900,000 ICU admissions
    480,000 deaths

    vs common flu in 2019:

    35,500,000 infections
    490,600 hospitalizations
    49,000 ICU admissions
    34,200 deaths

  • Reply Anton Leimbach March 8, 2020 at 4:07 am

    Bailouts? You mean corporate welfare.

  • Reply David James March 8, 2020 at 4:11 am

    Honestly, you can keep your cruises, stadiums, China, international travel, etc. I and so many people are opting to be home bodies, and explore small local attractions. Times are changing, and they are changing quick. I only shop online,and have the stuff shipped to my house. I have felt for years that it is tough being out there. This virus will persuade so many more to my side, i will be trendy again.

  • Reply Jim Do March 8, 2020 at 4:32 am

    Death by China part 4. No need to deploy PLA to invading the World. Win win 2025 made in China

  • Reply undersolo March 8, 2020 at 4:40 am

    The last time I flew on a plane that was almost empty was just a month-and-a-half after 9/11.

  • Reply Oleksii Galata March 8, 2020 at 6:12 am

    We can see the uselessness of scientists. Scientists are given billions of dollars for new researches every year and they can do nothing.

  • Reply imeldo marcos March 8, 2020 at 6:27 am

    I would say the virus existed since june 2019. Then it went on to infect a whole city.

  • Reply Anthony M March 8, 2020 at 6:42 am

    Hawaiian Air $99 to Hawaii one way from west coast airports. Airlines getting desperate

  • Reply Scan End March 8, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Man refused to cool the planet voluntarily so nature is correcting the problem by force.

  • Reply TANUJ ADITYA March 8, 2020 at 8:37 am


  • Reply franky upadhyay March 8, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    29.3 billion dollar loss to economic market ,just because of negligence of Chinese communist party. Should we still buy ever expanding chinese product across the world.?

  • Reply 万般带不去,唯有业随身。 March 8, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Please call a spade a spade.
    Call the virus China Wuhan Virus not covid-19 or coronavirus.

    DO WE NEED TO THANK THE CHINESE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT? For causing widespread death around the world?

    We must expose the LIES of the China communist government!!

    We must NOT let China communist government whitewash its despicable actions of (1) covering up the news of a new infection, causing DEATHS; (2) silencing critics who revealed the actual situation thus causing MORE DEATHS; and as such (3) spreading the China Wuhan virus to over 90 countries in the world, resulting in THOUSANDS OF DEATHS.

    The Chinese communist government said the Wuhan virus may have started in China but may not have originated from China (i.e. other country [USA] planted the virus in China) and the world should thank China for delaying the spread of virus for a long duration such that the world have a long time to prepare for reactions to the virus!

    AND instead of China apologising to the world for spreading the China Wuhan virus as "It is yet undetermined where the virus originated", the world should be grateful to China.

    SHAMELESS China communist government!

  • Reply George McGovern March 8, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    The proper name is"Chinese Coronavirus Pandemic"

  • Reply Checka Minute March 9, 2020 at 2:06 am

    did you notice? Videos with corona virus as Subject are demonetize or no ads

  • Reply Ann Ohalloran March 9, 2020 at 3:30 am

    Skies are clearing

  • Reply Arcus Puffious March 9, 2020 at 3:49 am

    The Chinese are a discussing tribe of people. They caused this epidemic by eating dogs, cats, rats, and chickens.
    The US should sue them.

  • Reply Ya Suo March 9, 2020 at 3:50 am

    Coronavirus->asian guy in the cover picture? As if we don’t have enough racism yet? 🙂

  • Reply TheDesert IsPatient March 9, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    We have on average 103 people killed per day by cars, not counting the maimed. A person dies every 37 seconds in the USA from heart disease says the CDC. Where’s the panic?

  • Reply Aurobindo Ghosh March 9, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    do you mean taliban and others are thanking allah for sending coronavirus to earth?

  • Reply Super Konek March 9, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    stupid comparison

  • Reply Rudra Desai March 9, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    Lol! Americans can compare new events with two things only for views 1)9/11 and 2)2008 crisis;
    I think americans want new event. Maybe bernie's win over trump.

  • Reply Dog Soldier March 9, 2020 at 11:12 pm

    It's a Election year virus. It will go away after the election

  • Reply J. Lee March 10, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Consider over 140 million Chinese travelling overseas in 2019, fast all by Global Airlines. That's a 100 billion dollars Market.

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