China Airlines has put its recruiting drive on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak in China. Credit: China Airlines.

The coronavirus outbreak has taken its toll on air travel in China and around the world, and now it has prompted China airlines to put off its current recruiting drive, Taiwan News reported.

Around 100 new flight attendants were supposed to report for work in February and March, but they will now need to wait for further notice, the report said.

This is part of a review into the flagship air carrier’s operations, which are expected to be affected by the continued spread of 2019-nCoV, wrote NOWnews.

The aviation industry is among the hardest hit since the virus broke out late December, with flights between Chinese cities and a growing number of countries suspended, the report said.

StarLux, EVA Air, and Uni Air have had their share of losses due to the health crisis, with either halted or canceled flights to China, the report said.

Also bearing the brunt is Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways, which has furloughed its 27,000-strong staff for three weeks, citing the gravity of the situation — not seen since the 2008 financial crisis, the report said.

The company announced on Tuesday a 90% cut in services to China and 30% reduction in worldwide capacity for two months, according to media reports.

As of Thursday, China has reported over 28,000 confirmed cases of the novel virus, including over 500 fatalities.

Some analysts are not very optimistic about whether domestic travel will bounce back in the near future. Wang Dan, analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, told CGTN, “I think it’s a very safe estimate that probably the tourism industry will not fully recover until later in the year, probably December.”

According to CNN, British Airways, United Airlines, American Airlines, Air Asia, Cathay Pacific, Air India, IndiGo, Lufthansa and Finnair have announced plans to slash the number of flights they are operating to China or stop flying to the country entirely.

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