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Data Suggests Coronavirus Will Cause Major Air Travel Demand Decrease

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A new study from an international airline industry organization suggests 2020 will see the first drop in air travel in over a decade due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to The Guardian, officials from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed demand for flights has dropped as a result of the viral infections that originated in China, which could cost the airline industry as much as $29.3 billion in lost revenue this year.

The IATA said global demand for air travel is expected to drop by 4.7 percent in 2020, which would mark the first overall decline since the global financial crisis that began in 2008.

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The Asia Pacific region will continue to be hit the hardest by the coronavirus outbreak and the concerns surrounding it, as airlines registered in China and the surrounding countries are expected to lose $27.8 billion in revenue this year.

“Airlines are making difficult decisions to cut capacity and in some cases routes,” IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement. “Lower fuel costs will help offset some of the lost revenue. This will be a very tough year for airlines.”

The IATA flight demand forecast was based on the coronavirus public health emergency not spreading beyond China, but De Juniac warned that if the viral infections spread to other major markets, the impact on the aviation industry will be even more significant.

In January, airlines across the U.S. have canceled all flights to China following the Department of State’s decision to raise its travel advisory to Level 4 and issued a “do not travel” warning due to the viral outbreak.

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American Airlines Offering Roundtrip Fares as Low as $32

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Granted, there are very few people taking to the air these days in the wake of the devastating global spread of the coronavirus.

But American Airlines, for whatever reason, is offering one of those crazy once-in-a-lifetime deals.

As first reported by One Mile At A Time, American has a fare through the month of April where you can fly from Miami to Los Angeles for $16 each way.

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Yep, that’s right – $32 roundtrip to go coast to coast.

No doubt it’s one of the most eye-catching, startling fares ever offered, even better than when some airlines run a buy one/get one special. Not that we didn’t believe One Mile At A Time, one of the most well-respected and well-read aviation blogs out there, but we had to see this for ourselves.

Sure enough, when TravelPulse checked it out on Sunday, the fare had increased.

By eight whole dollars.

Choosing random dates and leaving Miami International Airport for Los Angeles International on April 22 and returning April 29, the fare for basic economy was $40 roundtrip. Want a better seat? Main cabin fares were just $96 roundtrip. (Forget about first class. You didn’t think American was that generous, did you? Those fares were $854 roundtrip.)

For the month of May, again choosing random dates and leaving Miami on May 13 and returning May 20, we found basic economy roundtrip fares for $56 and main cabin for $121.

So who’s going to take a flyer on these fares while the virus is still raging?

Certainly, there will be some folks, especially those that might absolutely need to travel more immediately. Or, you might have the gamblers out there who will take the chance that the pandemic and the restrictions will come to an end sooner than later, making the purchase of a May flight seem like a steal.

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