The trade group’s plea comes amid fresh warnings and widespread fear around the disease, along with new figures suggesting a worsening financial situation for the airline industry.
Yesterday, the credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded the industry’s outlook from stable to negative, warning that there is an “increasing risk to demand for passenger air travel as the coronavirus expands globally.”
And today, the Global Business Travel Association reported that business travel is “slowing at an alarming rate,” finding that 13 percent of its members have canceled even domestic travel, along with high rates of canceled international business travel.
“Those are the customers that are the most profitable for airlines,” said airline analyst Henry Harteveldt.
Despite the fresh bad news, there is still a high level of uncertainty in the outlook for airlines and the travel industry broadly. “At this point, you cant really do forecasting because we’ve never really been in a situation quite like this before,” said Harteveldt.