It’s about time, and good for them. Seems as though the airline isn’t buying the CDC line that it’s impossible for anyone on those flights to have been exposed/infected. They’ve also released the flight numbers involved in the infected man’s journey to Dallas.
United Airlines, which flew Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan on two of the three flights that brought him to the U.S. last month, is trying to notify as many as 400 people who may have been on Duncan’s flights, referring them to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the airline told NBC News on Thursday. United said it doesn’t believe any fellows passengers are at risk but that it was taking the move out of an abundance of caution.
In the meantime, airline stocks are taking a dive considering the potential impact of this on the industry. Without approval of the federal government, airlines can implement restrictions on themselves, and choose to either not fly certain places or engage in certain serious restrictions regarding passengers. Let’s see how they respond.
The first diagnosis of an Ebola patient in the U.S. may be driving airline stocks lower, while shares of pharmaceutical companies move higher.
It’s not the first time an international health concern has led to fears that people will travel less frequently around the world.
“I think airlines are down for reasons beyond just Ebola, but people may remember that SARS was quite negative for air travel,” Neal Dihora, Morningstar senior equity analyst, told ABC News.
SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, was first recognized in February 2003, and there have not been known cases since 2004. Its spread caused global panic, particularly in Hong Kong and parts of Asia, moving the 2003 Women’s World Cup from China to the U.S.
This time, other issues besides Ebola are also affecting airline companies, including United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta, Dihora said.