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Terror Attacks Could Seriously Affect Airline Industry - 2001-09-15


New York's three major airports are all operating again but with numerous delays and cancellations. Tuesday's terrorism may have a lasting impact on the U.S. airline industry.

Thousands of passengers in the New York area have been stranded since Tuesday when all commercial aviation in the United States was shut down. Flight operations have resumed but still on a limited basis, meaning long lines at ticket counters and numerous canceled flights.

Despite stringent new security measures some passengers at New York's Kennedy airport continue to be anxious about air travel. "You feel leery about where you are going to go, when you are going to get there and if you are going to get there," says one passenger.

But another passenger believes air travel is now safer than ever. "I am sure security is much tighter now and everything, so this is probably the safest time to fly," she says.

But there are indications that even if it is "safe" to fly, the U.S. airline industry is in for hard times. Continental Airlines says it expects the terror attacks will cause a drastic decline in air travel. Continental is immediately reducing its flight schedule by 20 percent and laying off about 12,000 workers. Northwest Airlines also cutting its schedule by the same percentage and is reviewing the possibility of layoffs.

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