The Coronavirus Outbreak Evolving in the U.S. and Around the World Impacting Air Travel

The Coronavirus Outbreak Evolving in the U.S. and Around the World Impacting Air Travel
At the terminal that serves airline passengers bound for China, airport employees wear medical masks at John F. Kennedy Airport out of concern over the Coronavirus.

As we know the Coronavirus, stemming from the Wuhan area of China, now has cases around the world including the United States.  

The Trump administration declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a public health emergency in the United States, issuing a quarantine of Americans who have recently been to certain parts of China and halting entry into the United States by those traveling from China. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said it was the first quarantine order issued by the federal government in over 50 years.

“The risk of infection for Americans remains low,” said Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services and chairman of the coronavirus task force set up by Trump. “We are working to keep the risk low.”

Azar described the new entry rules and quarantines as “prudent, targeted, and temporary.” He said the United States is working to complement efforts by China and the World Health Organization to contain the deadly virus in China. 

The United States Department of State has issued a Level 4 travel advisory for China. Stating that Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. 

AFA, the largest flight attendant’s union in the U.S. is urging that all flights be halted to and from China as the coronavirus outbreak widens. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO, represents 50,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines.

The Allied Pilots Association, a union representing 15,000 American Airlines pilots, has sued the company to halt the carrier’s U.S.-China service, citing “serious, and in many ways still unknown, health threats posed by the coronavirus.”

American Airlines said it was suspending all flights to and from mainland China immediately through March 27th. Delta and United said service would be suspended as of February 6th.  United said it expected to resume operations on March 28th. Delta said its suspension would last through April 30th.  Airlines around the world are canceling or suspending flights to China amid the growing coronavirus outbreak and a sharp drop in demand for travel to the country. 

The forecasted travel disruption sent shocks through the stock market and rattled industries that depend on the flow of goods and people between the world’s two largest economies. 

China’s economy which relies heavily on manufacturing, consumer goods and tourism is expecting to report a 60 billion dollar hit this quarter.   American companies as well as those around the world are also indicating predicted losses due to the outbreak. China has become an essential part of the modern global industrial machine. It accounts for roughly one-sixth of global economic output, and is the world’s largest manufacturer.

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