Airlines around the world have cancelled thousands of flights to or through China, and some Asian carriers report be near to failure from the loss of revenue.
In recent years, China has become the world’s second largest airline market, behind the U.S. Many airlines added routes and staff and bought more planes to service that market.
Now air travel in and to China has disappeared, with more than 25,000 flights a week canceled.
The Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways has asked all staff to take three weeks’ unpaid leave; South Korea’s Asiana Airlines also has furloughed workers without pay. Hong Kong Airlines Ltd. has fired 400 people.
Thai Airways has cut flights linking Bangkok, Seoul, and Singapore. Quantas Airlines in Australia has reduced flights to Hong Kong and Singapore and suspended flights to mainland China through April.
The damage is spreading to other travel sectors; Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. has canceled its slate of Asian cruises until October.

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