Airline Shares Plunge; Cathay Pacific to Close Vancouver Cabin Crew Base

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By Alex Ho – Airline shares plunged in Asia on Friday after the after the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasted on Thursday that airlines could lose up to $113 billion in revenue this year if the coronavirus continues to spread.

The last time the industry faced such revenue shock was in 2009 during the global financial crisis, IATA Chief Economist Brian Pearce said at a media briefing in Singapore, adding that this fall would translate to 11%-19% of worldwide passenger revenue loss.

Following the news, Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX:) plunged 8.1% by 2:00 AM ET (06:00 GMT), while Japan’s ANA Holdings Inc (T:) was down 3.7%.

Over in South Korea, Korean Air Lines Co (KS:)’s stock plummeted 5.2%. Hong Kong-listed shares of China Eastern Airlines Corp Ltd (HK:) Ltd also slid 3.2%.

In other news, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways said today that it was closing its Vancouver cabin crew base as a result of lower demand due to the coronavirus.

The airline is laying off 147 crew members as part of an ongoing business review.

Shares of Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (HK:) dropped 3.6% to HK$9.93 today.

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