March 5, 2020 / 9:57 AM / a month ago

Airlines could lose up to $113 billion in passenger revenue due to coronavirus, IATA says

FILE PHOTO: A plane approaching Leeds Bradford airport passes in front of the sun during the second test cricket match between England and New Zealand at Headingley cricket ground in Leeds May 26, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Airlines could lose $63 billion to $113 billion (87.5 billion pounds) in revenue for passenger traffic globally in 2020, depending on how the coronavirus spreads, International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday.

The last time the industry faced a revenue shock of this magnitude was in 2009 during the global financial crisis, IATA Chief Economist Brian Pearce said at a media briefing in Singapore.

The $63 billion figure is for a scenario where the disease is contained in current markets with over 100 cases as of March 2, following a v-shaped recovery, IATA said.

The $113 billion estimate is for a scenario with a broader spreading of the disease.

This fall would translate to 11%-19% of worldwide passenger revenue loss.

IATA on Feb. 20 estimated the outbreak would cost carriers $29.3 billion in revenue, if the outbreak was largely confined to markets associated with China.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore and Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by Alexander Smith

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