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 June 4, 2003
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World airline body says traffic slumping amid SARS fears
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Geneva-AP -- Concern about SARS is taking a toll on global air traffic, with airlines in Asia taking the hardest hits.

The International Air Transport Association says Asian carriers saw the number of passengers they carried plunge almost 45 percent from March to April. The global average fall was 18 and a-half percent.

The I-A-T-A, which represents 177 passenger airlines worldwide, blames what it calls an "unprecedented combination of crises" -- the war in Iraq and SARS. It says the scope of the economic damage approaches the losses caused to airlines by the September eleventh attacks.

North American carriers have also been affected. I-A-T-A says their passenger numbers are down 23 and a-half percent.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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