BusinessFlyer From Singapore, joined Aug 2001, 288 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2847 times:
I am in Singapore and cannot help but notice the impact that SARS is having on flights out of here. I was supposed to go to Manila tomorrow but the client does not want to see us until after this has all died down! Furthermore, whenever I now go through Changi or KLIA, everything does seem much quieter (and how many taxis in Singapore are now empty?!). My friends who work for banks here are telling me that they are not allowed to fly and some traders are being isolated from other employees so that they can continue to trade even if things get really bad! All these people not flying must be having a major impact. A colleague of mine has just cancelled a trip to London because he has heard that flights from SG to London are now being screened at LHR and that if suspicious, they will put you into immediate quarantine.
Anyway, although CX has reduced its number of flights, I now see that the Financial Times is reporting that SQ is to cut a further 60 flights in the region on top of the 65 that it cut last month due to Iraq. Given the fact that Asian aviation was supposed to be the only strong area in the world, this must be very bad news.
Does anybody have any numbers on the impact that this is all having? I hear all this anecdotal evidence, but if anybody has concrete information that would be great....
PS. The greeting that people in Singapore now have is "so, when was the last time you were in Hong Kong or China"!
Jhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6197 posts, RR: 13 Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2734 times:
It'd probably be difficult to measure how many people are refusing to fly because of Sara, how many people are refusing to fly because of war with Iraq, and how many people are refusing to fly for an array of other reasons.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
BusinessFlyer From Singapore, joined Aug 2001, 288 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2716 times:
I think that the reason people aren't flying in Asia is far less to do with Iraq and far more to do with SARS. Admittedly anecdotal, but many of my friends were more than happy to fly until about a week or so ago, but now will do everything possible to avoid flying. And there are now many reports of companies cancelling overseas functions. My company, for example, had organised an internal meeting in Phuket, but that has now been cancelled. The number of cases so far is quite low but concern is high, and airlines are seen as one of the reasons for its rapid spread...
Ryanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3221 posts, RR: 16 Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2633 times:
BTW, the UK Foreign office has advised British people against travelling to Hong Kong and Southern China today! There is even talk of suspending Cathay Pacific's services, pending medical advice! This is serious.
Still, I'm flying EVA Air LHR to BKK tomorrow, so it doesn't bother me!
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
BusinessFlyer From Singapore, joined Aug 2001, 288 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2461 times:
Are they really going to stop CX flying?!
I now see that Switzerland has banned visitors from Singapore, Hong Kong and China from a conference being held there and that France, the US, Canada, Ireland and Australia are now warning people not to travel to the affected areas. But does anybody have any numbers on the actual impact this is having on passenger volumes?
L1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1620 posts, RR: 9 Reply 10, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2446 times:
I canceled my trip to Singapore that I was scheduled to make next week. I was to make a connection in Hong Kong for the final leg to Singapore. I was concerned about arriving in Singapore on a flight from Hong Kong. How would I feel if I caught SARS on the plane and brought another case into Singapore? For how long would I be quarantined if I even had so much as a cold or fever? I was really sorry to have to cancel, as I made my reservations last October. I was looking forward to staying at the Hotel Asia again, riding the MRT, and visiting the Night Safari. But I figured it would be better not to go at this time. United Airlines let me cancel without penalty, and I now will spend that week in Anchorage, Alaska.
Shortfinals From Malaysia, joined Jul 2000, 153 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2432 times:
I went through Changi on Sunday evening. Much quieter than usual. Even the SQ flight I took to Sydney later that evening had only 258 pax aboard. I've been on SQ221 many times before, and that's the first time I've seen it that empty. Worse still, connected on a UA flight monday morning from SYD-MEL. Only 60 pax aboard a 744. Needless to say the thing took off like a rocket. Yup they're hurting. On some screens in Sydney airport you can see POB numbers, and I can't recall which one it was, but there was a long haul QF flight going somewhere that had only 16 pax.
Kaitakfan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1587 posts, RR: 7 Reply 12, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2403 times:
Shortfinals, I was curious how did you manage to fly UA on SYD-MEL? UA does not even offer that segment on their website. As far as all the gate agents in SYD told me, the flight always goes out empty because United does not have the rights to pick up local traffic in Sydney to go down to MEL. All those 60 people are continuations from UA 815 from LAX. I only thought UA standby passengers like myself could travel on that segment. Or was I not told the full story on that?
I know that UA flights to Asia are also having a very hard time right now. Pretty sad to see such low numbers! Hopefully things will settle soon!
Basically the International Air Transport Association has concluded that airlines could lose GBP6.5bn, although the extent to which this is due to SARS is not detailed. However, interesting that it says that BA has cancelled one of its two daily flights to HK and is now overnighting its crews up in BKK instead of HK.
Shortfinals From Malaysia, joined Jul 2000, 153 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2387 times:
Kai Tak Fan,
I don't really know how, as UA doesn't have the traffic rights b/w MEL-SYD. But I've done this quite a few times...for mileage run purposes. I don't know how this happens, but I just book it, issue the ticket and off I go. All this happens through my travel agent, who pulls it up straight from Abacus. Just trying to help UA out if I can.
Kaitakfan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1587 posts, RR: 7 Reply 15, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2378 times:
How nice that you can catch that flight! Everyone at UA appreciates any bit of help you give! I forgot to mention, I love that rocket ship take off style that the 747-400 does out of SYD and MEL! Sure is strange to have a 20 second take off run out of MEL to SYD and then have a 1 minute take off run 2 hours later from SYD-LAX!!
ZSSNC From Germany, joined Feb 2003, 428 posts, RR: 8 Reply 16, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2367 times:
I just talked to a friend of mine that does the check-in for CX in FRA. She said that the load factors were below 50 %. I think that - despite that any time would have been a bad time for SARS - there could not have been a worse time for this to happen with the war in Iraq going on.
Then I saw a LH flight attendant on TV which said that LH allows their flight attendants to wear masks during flights to HKG.
Airbus A340-600 - the longest temptation in the sky
Airpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 936 posts, RR: 27 Reply 18, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2325 times:
Things have certainly changed. I flew CX yesterday btwn SIN and BKK and all cabin attendants were wearing surgical masks. Detected a clear (and understandable) level of tension and nervousness amonst the crew. It was quite an empty B777-300 and I guess it would get emptier.
I'm now awaiting a Swiss flight back to SIN and was told at check in there were 40 pax booked and only 1 (me) in Business.
Hkg82 From Hong Kong, joined Apr 2002, 1231 posts, RR: 1 Reply 21, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2222 times:
HKG has seen many flight cuts and will undoubtedly see more in the coming days & weeks as demand for travel into & out of Hong Kong lessens further. Depending on the duration of the outbreak here, these flight cuts are temporary. Once the SARS outbreak is contained (most probably by the end of the month, I hope), I think it will take some period of time before the traveling public has the confidence to travel to Hong Kong, and the airlines may decide to keep the reduced number of flights to HKG for a little while longer.
Hong Kong has an excellent reputation for being a very resilient economy, and a city that can quickly recover from a crisis.