Air Transport World

Disaster is contagious. (Editorial).(Editorial)

What an extraordinary time to be in the airline business! Ten weeks ago, industry attention was focused on the coming war in Iraq and its anticipated effect on airlines; only a small number of medical professionals were even aware of what is being referred to as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Now this heretofore unknown disease is wreaking havoc throughout much of Asia, presenting carriers there with what some are calling their gravest crisis.

This is not to dismiss the impact of the war, which is, as expected, disastrous. With traffic and yield performing worse than in the 1991 Gulf War, US airlines were expected to report their heaviest losses since the end of 2001 for the recently ended first quarter. …

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