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April 9, 2003 – SARS Update

For world airlines, current bookings to areas such as Hong Kong, are down 30% to 40%, says Giovanni Bisignani, CEO of the International Air Transport Association. U.S. airlines’ traffic on trans-Pacific routes fell more than 23% last week compared with a year ago, says the Air Transport Association. Continental Airlines on Monday said that it will suspend non-stop Newark, NY – Hong Kong flights until June 2. The past six weeks of worsening results coincided with the increasing publicity and health warnings about travel to Asia, where most cases of SARS have been found. The airlines will lose in the long term, according to Forrester Research analyst Henry Harteveldt, who estimates that airlines could lose 5% to 10% of their business travelers in the Asia market to video conferencing within 18 months.

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