Mar 5, 2020 - Health

Southwest Airlines CEO compares coronavirus travel declines to post-9/11

In this image, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly stands behind a podium

Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines in Annapolis, Maryland in 2018. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said on Thursday that the drop in domestic air travel amid the novel coronavirus outbreak "has a 9/11-like feel," CNBC anchor Carl Quintanilla reports.

Driving the news: The spread of COVID-19 could cost airlines up to $113 billion in lost revenue due to declines in air travel this spring and early summer, the International Air Transport Association projected earlier on Thursday.

What they're saying: "We're 97% domestic, so what we're seeing is a drop-off in domestic travel," Kelly added.

  • "We could discount prices and it wouldn't do any good .... We are not running dramatic fare sales," he said, according to Reuters' David Shepardson.

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