Coronavirus-driven fear of flying has a ‘9-11 like feel’

The concern of traveling prompted by the coronavirus outbreak is reminiscent of 9/11, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly instructed CNBC on Thursday. 

“9/11 wasn’t an economically pushed issue for travel. It was additional fear, rather frankly, and I think that that is actually what’s manifested this time,” Kelly mentioned on “The Trade.” 

He claimed the lack of travel need as the coronavirus spreads throughout the U.S. is also comparable to previous economic recessions.

Kelly famous the vacation restrictions set in place by several organizations and reported it’s hard to ascertain how significantly of the lost bookings were being heading to be enterprise or personalized flights. 

“So I consider there are things of each, but it has a 9/11-like feel. With any luck , we’ll get this guiding us quite swiftly,” he explained. 

Southwest began to encounter “really sharp declines” in bookings last 7 days, in the variety of “various hundred million dollars we feel,” he said. “We’re guessing. It really is however early March.” 

“It was a really noticeable, precipitous drop. It is really continued on a every day basis,” Kelly explained. 

Southwest explained its earnings for every available seat mile — a essential industry evaluate of how substantially dollars airways make for every seat they fly for every mile — could range from a 2% drop to a 1% maximize on the 12 months this quarter. It earlier believed a 3.5% to 5.5% improve.

Globally, airways could drop up to $113 billion in income this calendar year, the most due to the fact the economic disaster, if the coronavirus carries on to spread, sector trade group the International Air Transportation Association estimated on Thursday. 

— CNBC’s Leslie Josephs contributed to this report. 

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