China’s coronavirus epidemic is depressing its economic outlook, with new government readings on the manufacturing and service sectors validating informal indications that the country is struggling to get back to work.
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United Airlines is offering certain pilots the option of taking April off with reduced pay as the airline grapples with the spread of the new coronavirus, according to a letter from pilot union president Todd Insler to members.
United has suspended flights to China and Hong Kong, and on Friday announced plans to cut back on some flying to other destinations in Asia, including Tokyo and Singapore. The airline earlier this week said near-term demand to the Asia-Pacific region, even outside of China, had fallen by 75%.
That has meant fewer flying opportunities for some widebody pilots, Capt. Insler's letter said. As a result, United is offering those pilots the chance to get paid for 50 hours of work in April without flying. Pilots typically fly 75 to 80 hours a month.
Airlines around the world have had to reassess their response to coronavirus as it has spread beyond China. Some carriers in Europe this week started offering pilots unpaid leave, while Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., hit by both the Hong Kong protests and now coronavirus, is requiring all staff to take three weeks unpaid leave.
United didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The organizers of the annual Game Developers Conference on Friday said the event planned for next month will be postponed after major industry participants withdrew from the gathering over coronavirus concerns.
Earlier in the day, Amazon.com Inc. and Activision Blizzard Inc. said they wouldn't attend the event. Microsoft Corp., Sony Corp. and game-maker Electronic Arts previously said they would be no-shows at the event, which was scheduled for March 16 through March 20 in San Francisco.
"We fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer," conference organizer Informa PLC said.