Air Transport World

Epidemic eviscerates Asian traffic. (News Briefs).

The emergence of a mysterious new pneumonia-like disease in early March dealt a double blow to airlines already confronting rising fuel costs and significant traffic declines associated with the US/UK-led war in Iraq (see Editorial, p. 5 and Cover Story, p. 30). The highly contagious illness, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, and a World Health Organization advisory to avoid travel to Hong Kong and southern China, where SARS is believed to have originated, contributed to an unprecedented decline in passenger traffic and forward bookings on routes into and out of the region.

SARS became a full-blown epidemic just as airlines around the world began cutting schedules in response to traffic erosion associated with the Iraq war and terrorism fears. …

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