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Impact on aviation traffic exposed as coronavirus takes hold

written by WOFA | February 3, 2020
China Eastern Airbus A350
Nearly 10,000 flights have now been suspended since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China.

Nearly 10,000 flights have now been suspended since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, it has been revealed.

According to Cirium, a travel and data analytics firm, of the 90,607 domestic and international flights scheduled to operate across mainland China over the six-day period between January 23 and January 28, 9,807 (or 10.8 per cent) did not fly.

Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines was the most heavily affected carrier by total number flights, with 1,591 of its services cancelled, including 1,529 domestic and 62 international flights.

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China Southern Airlines was also impacted, with 1,510 flights cancelled – including 1,425 domestic and 85 international services. Xiamen Airlines had 837 unoperated flights, including 828 domestic and nine international.

Data also revealed that 92 per cent of all scheduled flights to and from Wuhan – the city at the epicenter of the outbreak and home to 11 million people – did not operate over the same period.

Of the 2,606 flights that were set to fly in and out of the city, a total of 2,406 services were cancelled.

Rahul Oberai, Cirium’s managing director for Asia-Pacific, said the outbreak will inevitably cause significant disruption of schedules and travel patterns in the short- to medium-term, however long-term demand would rebound.

“The precedent of the SARS outbreak indicates to us that the underlying demand for travel driven by GDP growth will in time produce a robust recovery.

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