Cathay Pacific asks employees to take unpaid leave as virus hits demand

Coronavirus outbreak: Cathay Pacific, Air China temporarily suspend flights to China

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"In the USA for example, where the government has advised against all travel to China and is barring entry to foreign nationals travelling from China, there will be significantly reduced demand for flights serving China", Sehmer said.

Cathay Pacific previously implemented similar leave schemes in 2009 during the worldwide financial crisis and the 2003 SARS outbreak in China, both of which also led to flight reductions.

These flights have transported more than 604,000 items, including masks, medical protective clothing and disinfectant, for epidemic prevention and control.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Sunday announced to resume flight operations with virus-hit China after the federal government acquired coronavirus testing kits.

By the end of 2019, China Southern operated a fleet of more than 860 airplanes, including passenger aircraft and all-cargo freighters.

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There are over 500 weekly flights between India and Singapore, according to Indian government information, with direct flights to around 15 cities. United said it still plans to resume flights to and from China on March 28. It cited the continued drop in demand.

The U.S. offered China "tremendous help" in dealing with the outbreak, according to President Trump, but China has yet to accept the aid.

Flight CZ305 was one of three that arrived at Auckland Airport from mainland China on Monday afternoon and evening.

Cathay Pacific's flight attendants' union said later on Wednesday that it will discuss the company's request internally.

"The bump in price is not totally unexpected to me", she said.

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However, non-New Zealand passengers arriving on flights from China that were already en route on Monday would be allowed entry following "enhanced screening", he said, before the ban would take full effect.

Hong Kong reported its first death from the newly identified coronavirus on Tuesday, the second fatality outside mainland China from an outbreak that has killed over 420 people, spread around the world and raised fears for global economic growth. Exceptions will be made for foreign nationals who are immediate family members of American citizens and permanent residents.

Eugene Securities analyst Bang Min-jin said a recovery in air travel demand would take a long time even if the coronavirus is contained.

Police and health officials responded to the airport about 4.30pm, a police spokesperson said.

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