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Chinese airlines report $4.8 billion loss in Q1 as virus erodes travel demand

·1 min read

BEIJING, April 15 (Reuters) - Chinese airlines reported a total loss of 33.62 billion yuan ($4.8 billion) in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic hit travel demand, the aviation regulator said on Wednesday.

In February,the airlines suffered a record loss of 20.96 billion yuan as large parts of the country remained on lockdown amid efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

The total number of passengers fell 71.7% in March from a year earlier to 15.13 million, Xiong Jie, an official with Civil Aviation Administration of China, told a press conference, adding the gauge was down 53.9% in the first quarter. ($1 = 7.0454 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Stella Qiu and Se Young Lee; Editing by Himani Sarkar)