Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific cancelled 42 per cent of its flights due to the fall in traffic resulting from Sars. Passenger levels dropped from around 33,000 a day to 10,000- 13,000. Dragonair, Hong Kong's number two carrier, cut nearly half of its flights.
Korean Air has suspended or cut services to Hong Kong and several mainland Chinese cities until the end of April. Asiana Airlines, South Korea's second largest carrier, has also suspended or reduced services to mainland destinations.
China Airlines has reduced services on the popular Taiwan-Hong Kong route. Flights have been cancelled on a daily basis if there was insufficient demand, said a company spokesman. Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines have also cut the frequency of their regional flights. Continental Airlines suspended all its flights to Hong Kong.
Mainland carriers were less forthcoming, including China Southern Airlines, China's biggest airline that is based in Guangdong, where Sars first appeared. It declined to give information on passenger numbers or changes to its scheduling. However, travel agents said that Air China was forced to cancel half of its Hong Kong flights. All domestic airlines were instructed to issue face masks to passengers.