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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Airline reservations slump
Passengers being directed to security checks
Security checks are slowing down passenger traffic
International travel reservations company Amadeus has admitted its airline bookings slumped 28% worldwide in the four days after last week's US terror attacks.

Many airlines were offering their normal US services again on Monday, but there was no confirmation that bookings could sustain those operations.

Madrid-based Amadeus said in a statement that its US airline bookings fell 74% in 11-14 September compared to the same time last year, while they declined by 19% for the rest of the world.

Continental airlines chief executive Gordon Bethune
Gordon Bethune: "100,000 US aviation jobs could be lost"

"[Amadeus] hopes the situation will stabilise in the coming weeks now that commercial air traffic is being re-established," chief executive Jose Antonio Tazaon said.

Amadeus provides a reservation system for 95% of the world's airlines and sells seats directly for 500 carriers.

Japan Airlines said about 10% of passengers had cancelled their flights between 12 and 30 September.

"Nobody wants to go to the US anymore," said Joseph Tung of the Travel Industry Council in Hong Kong.

"Holidaymakers do not want to take that risk. Even those who have booked packages for Christmas and the New Year are refusing to go.".

Passenger confidence

Shares in Amadeus have suffered, as have those in airlines worldwide, over concerns over the impact of last week's attacks on world travel.

Its stock fell a further 12% on Monday, taking its total losses from a week ago to 45%.

Airline shares, 1430 GMT, 17 September
Continental
down 51%
America
down 42%
United
down 41%
Delta
down 41%
Northwest
down 34%

Global airline shares extended their losses on Monday as shareholders wondered when and how profitability would be restored to an industry hobbled by terrified passengers, with major airports unable to process new security measures quickly enough.

In the United States, where markets re-opened for the first time since last Tuesday's attacks, airline shares lost as much as half their value.

An official at Northwest Airlines in Asia said every piece of luggage loaded onto its planes was being opened and examined.

US-based Continental Airlines said at the weekend it was losing $30m a day and could file for bankruptcy in late October if it did not receive government aid.

Continental chief executive Gordon Bethune said as many as 100,000 US aviation jobs could be lost.

Aviation is traditionally among the most vulnerable industries to downturns, let alone catastrophes.

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