As Coronavirus Grounds Global Airlines, Top US Official Says 'it's Worse Than 9/11'

US News

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on March 17 said that the airline industry is facing a greater threat from coronavirus lockdown than it did during 9/11.

Written By Vishal Tiwari | Mumbai | Updated On:
coronavirus

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on March 17 said that the airline industry is facing a greater threat from coronavirus lockdown than it did back on September 9, 2001 during attacks, when the entire airspace in the country was shut down. The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the global airline sector towards bankruptcy and calls for emergency bailouts swept through in many parts of the world.

Read: Italy Plans To Re-nationalise Bankrupt Alitalia As Part Of Economic Rescue Plan

As per reports, Italy moved to re-nationalise its flag-carrier Alitalia under an emergency economic rescue plan for coronavirus outbreak. The airline had gone bankrupt and the Italian government was looking to sell its majority stake before the virus struck the country. However, the government now has decided to rescue the national airline as part of a plan that would reportedly cost the taxpayers a whopping $670 million. 

Read: Economists Warn Global Recession Is No Longer A Looming Threat

Media reports suggest that airlines in the United States have sought $50 billion in help from the government after the Trump administration prepared a reportedly $850 billion plan to prevent an economic fallout due to coronavirus outbreak. According to reports, Market Intelligent firm CAPA warned that most airlines will go bankrupt by the end of May, while industry officials say that they would face a crisis in their cash reserves in three months or so. 

Read: German Foreign Minister Advises Citizens Against Travelling Abroad After Spike In Cases

As per reports, airlines have warned that vital air cargo would be impacted by the shutdown of 1,85,000 passenger flights around the globe. The coronavirus outbreak has taken a huge toll on the global economy as countries moved to shut their borders in order to prevent the spread of the disease. The Wall Street on March 16 saw its worst day since 1987 after US President Donald Trump announced the travel ban to and from Europe. 

Read: Turkish Govt Seeks To Downplay Coronavirus Threat To Prevent Tourism Sector: Reports

Coronavirus outbreak

The COVID-19 has claimed more than 7,900 lives across the world and has infected over 1,98,000 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China is the most affected country in the world as experts believe that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Italy, Iran and Spain are the most affected countries outside mainland China, where, as of March 17 the combined death toll stands at 4,024. 

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