Even though officials have repeatedly stated that no cases of the deadly coronavirus have been confirmed in Turkey, the panic that the outbreak has created continues to spread across the country, damaging China-related sales.
Chinese restaurants in Turkey recorded a sudden plummet in the number of customers and sales since the deadly pandemic started in China’s Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
After national carrier Turkish Airlines announced it was suspending flights to China until the end of February, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Turkey has dropped drastically.
“This time of year is usually our busiest season due to the Lunar New Year holiday, but all reservations were canceled after the coronavirus outbreak, causing a slowdown in our business,” said Eren Özcan, a Chinese restaurant worker in the Fatih district of Istanbul, adding that the pandemic caused a 60 percent overall slump in revenue.
Global leaders are scrambling to mitigate economic costs of the coronavirus outbreak, however no signs of progress have been observed so far.
On Thursday, China reported its biggest daily jump in deaths from the virus, an increase of 73 to 563, although only two deaths have been reported outside mainland China.
“Turkish diners avoiding Chinese restaurants”
Expressing that the virus has added another dimension to the strong prejudices against Chinese food in Turkey, Özcan said: “Turkish people think that we sell snakes or rats at Chinese restaurants. The taste actually resembles the Turkish cuisine.”
He added that Turks are avoiding dining at Chinese restaurants amid fears of the deadly coronavirus spreading, bringing the number of customers to an all-time low.
The virus has shut down cities and factories in China and disrupted global air travel.
More than two dozen airlines have suspended or restricted flights to China and hundreds of foreigners have been evacuated from Wuhan and placed in quarantine.
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Britain confirms third case of coronavirus
A third person in the United Kingdom has tested positive for coronavirus, England's chief medical officer said on Thursday."A further patient has tested positive for coronavirus bringing the total number of cases in the UK to three," Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said. "The individual did not acquire this in the UK."
Vietnam total confirmed coronavirus cases rise to 12
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China troubled at UK PM Johnson's silence over coronavirus
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World aviation sector in path of coronavirus storm
The global coronavirus outbreak will have a much deeper dampening effect on the world aviation sector than previous disease scares, warned analysts.Suat Hayri Aka, Turkey’s ambassador to the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), said that airlines’ suspensions of busy cargo and passenger traffic with China will hurt both civil aviation and the economy at large.The cancellation of 6,000-7,000 flights from 10 busy Chinese airports – the vast majority of them domestic flights – will take a hit on China's civil aviation and economy for some time, he told Anadolu Agency.From ground zero in Wuhan, China, coronavirus has spread to more than 20 countries worldwide, including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, India, and Canada.Citing the latest data, Aka noted that the number of flights taking off from airports in the normally busy hubs of Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen, and Xian fell nearly in half in just a day, with flights from Wuhan scrapped altogether."Flight suspension of airlines in countries which have busy cargo and passenger traffic with China, such as the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Canada, Indonesia, and Turkey, like China, will affect the whole world’s civil aviation and economy," he stressed.He said cooperation between governments and healthcare organizations will be key to stopping the virus."The ICAO launched an information exchange platform called Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) to assist in the coordination of the international response to such cases," he explained.-Lessons from previous outbreaksJudging from previous cases – like the SARS (2003) and bird flu (2017) epidemics – Aka said when travel restrictions are imposed due to contagious outbreaks, demand for air travel falls.The global aviation sector’s losses from the 2003 SARS outbreak are estimated at $10 billion, he said, adding: "Today, the number of air passengers in China alone is tenfold."Regional airlines had to reduce their service capacity by a third due to SARS, shaving 3% from the global aviation industry’s revenue, he said."It’s not really difficult to predict the effect of this on other aviation-related sectors, plus the possible negative consequences on the economy, especially in tourism, construction, and food," he warned.On a more optimistic note, he said: "As soon as the fear of transmitting this disease to the world was overcome, the civil aviation industry regained momentum within two months, and returned to its level from before the crisis within six."Aka said the financial impact of a huge government like China battling the virus will be felt on global retail markets."Chinese intermediate goods and products are undoubtedly the input of major economies transporting via air and sea," he explained. “So this interdependence affects the entire world economy.”No one can know how far the virus will spread, or how much it will impact aviation, he added.-Sensitive to shocksAviation expert Abdullah Nergiz, the editor-in-chief of Havayolu101, an airline industry website, pointed to civil aviation’s vulnerability to external shocks."Political tensions, economic crises, regional conflicts, and even volcano eruptions leave deep marks on the sector," he explained.Citing SARS’ impact on Asia-Pacific-based airlines in 2003, resulting in a capacity loss of 35% and $6 billion in revenue losses, Nergiz said:"Coronavirus' possible costs will be much higher, as it spreads much faster, plus the aviation sector's volume is much higher now."He stated that the cargo business will also take a blow, as production will be disrupted due to people stuck in quarantine."If a solution can’t be found in the short term, we estimate that airlines' turnover will take a hit of $15-20 billion." Nergiz said.Tolga Ozbek, general coordinator of a sector website, stressed that back when it was the preferred method to transport goods, disease outbreaks used to be spread by ship, not air.“Now air carriers are an important factor,” he said.Noting that China and the Far East are the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets, Ozbek said: “This time airlines will face much bigger losses than with SARS because there was not such a huge quarantine or cancellation of flights.”
Coronavirus hits demand for oil, energy
A fast-spreading coronavirus in China has sent shockwaves through global commodity markets, prompting OPEC and its allies to consider deepening crude supply curbs and Asia's largest oil refiner to slash over a tenth of its output.MARKETS EXPECT REDUCED OIL DEMANDThe oil market looks set for at least four months of depressed demand because of the coronavirus outbreak, with a large crude surplus not expected to clear at least until August, analysts and traders said.Fears of a virus-related slump in global energy demand have flipped the market into contango this week - a structure in which longer-dated oil futures trade at a premium that encourages traders to keep crude in storage for more profitable resale in the future.Oil markets at one point dropped nearly 20% in the wake of the virus' spread, a signal of market fears of falling demand.OIL MAJORS RESTRICT CHINA TRAVELRoyal Dutch Shell Plc, Phillips 66, oil services company Halliburton Co have all either banned or limited travel to and from China.Energy Transfer LP has brought U.S.-based employees back from Beijing.CHINESE OIL, GAS SALES PARALYZEDShort-term sales of crude oil and liquefied natural gas into China almost ground to a halt this week amid slowed economic activity and hurt demand and buyers pondered legal action to avoid having to honour purchase agreements, trade sources said.Fears about the virus are hampering Energy Transfer's efforts to lock in contracts with Chinese customers to deliver LNG from the U.S. Gulf, the company said.OPEC, ALLIES CONSIDER SUPPLY CUTSThe Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are in discussion to bring forward a policy meeting to this month from March, and to consider deepening oil supply curbs by an additional 500,000 barrels per day to 2.2 million bpd.CHINESE REFINERS CUT FUEL PRODUCTIONChina is the world's second-largest oil refiner and a critical growth engine for the global economy, so any material contraction in Chinese economic activity is expected to have far-reaching repercussions across several industries.China's Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest refiner, is cutting throughput this month by 600,000 bpd, around 12%, its steepest cut in over a decade, in response to slowing oil demand.Sinopec's trading arm Unipec has suspended purchases of West African crude and is looking to re-sell at least five of its March-loading Angolan cargoes.Analysts predict China's oil demand could fall by 250,000 bpd in the first quarter of 2020 with jet fuel taking the hardest hit as international airlines shun the country due to the virus.JET FUEL MARGINS FALLThe coronavirus outbreak has caused many airlines to stop flights to parts of China, weakening demand for jet fuel. U.S. prices dropped to their lowest seasonally in five years, market participants said.Jet fuel prices and production margins in Asia posted their biggest monthly decline in more than a decade in January, hurting refiners and fuel exporters.Freight rates for supertankers on the Mideast Gulf and U.S. Gulf routes to Asia have fallen to their lowest since mid-September.