In a memo to employees, Korean Air's president has stated the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is threatening the survival of the airline.

According to the memo, Korean Air president Woo Kee-hong stated 80% of international flights operated by the airline have been cut – eclipsing the the 18% of flights affected during the Asian financial crisis of 1997.

In response to the reduced travel demand, the airline will implement cost cutting measures.

"We can easily imagine the severity of the crisis we are facing in comparison. And what is more daunting is that the situation can get worse at any time and we cannot even predict how long it will last," he said in a memo to employees.

Woo added that with around 100 aircraft grounded, the airline's future may be in jeopardy. "But if the situation continues for a longer period, we may reach the threshold where we cannot guarantee the company’s survival," Woo added. The airline has around 145 aircraft.

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