The virus has adversely affected the airline industry, with its stocks dropping to lows not seen in many years. The virus also continues to grow, with over 90,000 people infected and a growing death toll. Demand for air travel is at historic lows, with corporations and single passengers alike opting to forego air travel during the health crisis.
Airlines like American, Delta and United are not flying into or out of China, and they have also cut down on other routes around the world. United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said more cuts are likely to come.
The issue of data collection for passengers has been a contentious one between airlines and the government. The airlines claim that not all reservations contain customer data that would allow for tracking, according to trade group Airlines for America.
About 74 percent of reservations have a phone number and 56 percent have an email, the group said in a letter sent to the Department of Health and Human Services. The letter asked that the agency create an online link for passengers arriving from overseas to give their information directly to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“This online option would eliminate the need for the airlines to act as an intermediary, and it would create a government-mandated, one-on-one, more immediate relationship between a passenger and the CDC,” the letter said.
In China, tech companies have created a color-coded health rating system to track the millions of people going back to work. Alibaba, Ant Financial and the Hangzhou all worked together on a phone app called the Alipay Health Code, which gives people a green, yellow or red designation based on travel history and medical conditions.