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Significant reductions in passenger numbers have resulted in flights being cancelled or planes flying empty between airports, which in turn massively reduced revenues for airlines and forced many airlines to lay off employees or declare bankruptcy. Some have attempted to avoid refunding cancelled trips to diminish their losses. Airliner manufacturers and airport operators have also laid off employees.
Only several months into the pandemic, the crisis was already the worst in the aviation industry's history, according to statements made in early 2020 by Airbus' Guillaume Faury, EasyJet's Johan Lundgren, United Airlines' Oscar Munoz, Qantas' Alan Joyce, and media outlets: the Financial Times, The New York Times, and The Independent.