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'9/11-type feel' to airline demand drop over coronavirus -Southwest CEO to CNBC

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CHICAGO, March 5 (Reuters) - The drop-off in air travel demand following the spread of coronavirus cases feels more driven by fear than economics, similar to 9/11, Southwest Airlines Co Chief Executive Gary Kelly told CNBC on Thursday.

"Weve been through several recessions in my four decades with the company and you do see a sharp drop in business travel in a recessionary period. This feels somewhat like that, hopefully itll be short-lived," Kelly said.

"9/11 wasnt an economically driven issue for travel, it was more fear quite frankly and I think thats whats manifested this time. I think theres elements of both but it has a 9/11-type feel. Hopefully, well get this behind us quickly."

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago Editing by Matthew Lewis)