Airlines stop flying as virus crisis deepens

Health checks on air travelers are getting ever stricter.

At Beijing Capital International Airport all arrivals from overseas will now have to spend 14 days at a nearby quarantine facility.

But every day, there are fewer international passengers to deal with.

As the coronavirus crisis deepens, airlines around the world are taking drastic steps.

Among just a few announcements Monday (March 16)...

Austrian Airlines said it would halt all operations from Wednesday (March 18) night.

Britain's Virgin Atlantic said it would ground 85% of its fleet.

Europe's biggest budget airline, Ryanair, warned it could ground its entire fleet.

IAG - owner of British Airways and Iberia - said it would cut capacity by 75%.

The full list of moves is much, much longer.

For airlines the outlook darkened again after Spain declared a state of emergency and the U.S. extended travel curbs to Britain and Ireland.

Finnair's chief executive calls it the worst crisis in the history of aviation.

In a rare joint move, the world's top three airline alliances - oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance - all appealed for government aid.

Industry consultants CAPA say most global carriers will go bust by June without such help.

Investors certainly seem to think they could be in trouble.

Monday alone saw IAG shares down over 25%.

Now many expect some kind of chaotic consolidation in the sector.

The winners may be those with the deepest pockets, or the most helpful governments.