Would you pay $17,524 to fly to Hong Kong?
The airline industry is likely to lose $11 billion in 2009 -- that's $2 billion more than it thought it would lose this June, according to the New York Times. Contributing to that loss is a steep decline in the number of passengers willing to pay $17,524 for a round-trip first class flight between Chicago and Hong Kong.
The number of first- and business-class passengers has dropped 20 percent this year. The biggest decline in such upscale traffic has been in the trans-Pacific market. Premium traffic on North Atlantic routes was 15.8 percent lower in the first seven months of 2009, while trans-Pacific premium traffic was down 26.6 percent during the same period.