Global Aerospace Industry Reels at COVID-19By Daniel González | Fri, 03/13/2020 - 11:14
The COVID-19 outbreak and WHO’s declaration of a global pandemic have marked the news of the week in aerospace. On Wednesday night, US President Donald Trump announced that the US will close airports to all flights from Europe. A similar measure had been taken in Spain a few days earlier, when any flight from Italy was banned from entering the country. However, and despite the global alarm over the rapid spread of the disease, Mexico announced on Thursday that Mexican airports will remain open and operating normally.
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On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump announced that all flights from the EU were banned from entering the US, with the exception of those coming from the UK. The measure also includes cargo flights. “This is the most aggressive effort to deal with a virus in modern history and I am confident that we will reduce the threat to our citizens,” Trump said in a message to the nation hours after the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
US airline stocks fell on Thursday after Trump’s announcement. American Airlines shares were down 15 percent in premarket trading, United fell 15 percent and Delta dropped 13 percent. Boeing stocks plunged 18 percent on Wednesday’s session, after the company announced that it would stop hiring staff for its activities.
Javier Jimenez Espriu, Mexico’s Minister of Communications and Transport, announced Thursday that Mexico will not close its airports despite the progress of COVID-19. The Minister announced that it will be the Ministry of Health that will mark the way forward in the coming days.
In China, the number of airline passengers fell by 84.5 percent as a result of the harsh measures imposed by the Chinese government to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. This decline has resulted in a $2.9 billion loss for Chinese airlines.
American Airlines has suspended the hiring of new pilots due to the impact COVID-19 is having on the aviation industry. The company announced this measure through a statement sent to the media to try to stop its shares from plummeting further.