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Cost of the coronavirus

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Carnival said it had cancelled China sailings on all of its Costa Cruises ships until mid-March, while other boats have been rerouted to avoid Chinese ports

THE deadly coronavirus outbreak is costing travel firms billions of rands due to cancellations and lost bookings.

Cruise firms are facing a R10 billion hit if they have to axe dozens more voyages in the Far East in the wake of the outbreak in China.

And airlines predict huge losses of R400 billion this year after cancelling 100 000 flights in the past month because of the virus.

The outbreak has also led to 300 000 fewer shipping containers leaving China each week, with experts warning this will lead to a worldwide shortage in goods if the outbreak cannot be contained soon.

Meat supplies are spoiling at sea, with ships unable to dock in Chinese ports as berths are full, while Jaguar Land Rover has even resorted to flying out Chinese-made car parts in suitcases. In England, NHS Supply Chain bosses are rationing face mask supplies after receiving a run of orders from hospitals. An official note states that excessive and multiple orders may be cancelled.

Carnival said it had cancelled China sailings on all of its Costa Cruises ships until mid-March, while other boats have been rerouted to avoid Chinese ports.

Norwegian Cruise Line, which has 10% of global capacity, has cancelled or amended 40 Asia sailings until late summer.

– Mail On Sunday