European Airline Traffic Sees SARS Effect

27th Jun 2003

The Association of European Airlines has issued its detailed traffic report for May, a
month which combined residual effects of the Iraq War, at the same time as the full-blown
impact of market apprehensiveness associated with the SARS outbreak.
Overall, traffic was down 5.2%. While Europe, the North Atlantic and the Middle East
contributed to the decrease, by far the largest traffic loss was recorded on Far Eastern
routes, which were 28.7% down on their already-depressed level in 2002.
The severity of the SARS-related impact can be measured by the fact that a decrease of
this magnitude has been measured only once before in any of the AEA’s major markets,
when very similar figures were recorded on the North Atlantic in October/November
2001, triggered by the September 11 th outrage.
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