White House meets with CEOs in travel industry regarding coronavirus outbreak

A spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence has announced The White House conducted meetings with top executives from US airlines and the cruise industry amid the growing coronavirus outbreak, the company said.

Pence is overseeing the administration´s efforts. Administration and airline officials said those who attended the meeting included the chief executives of American Airlines Group Inc, United Airlines Holdings Inc, Southwest Airlines Co (and JetBlue Airways Corp.

Pence´s office said he met with cruise line chief executives in Florida and 3M Co, which said it was ramping up production of its N95 respirator mask.

Shares in Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL.N) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH.N) are both down 40% since January. Major cruise lines have been canceling cruises, especially in Asia, amid sagging demand. Asia accounts for about 10% of the worldwide cruise industry, and at one point the highest number of cases outside China were aboard the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship docked in Japan.

US airlines report travel demand has fallen sharply. Airlines have cut flights to Asia and Italy amid the crisis and canceled all flights to China until late April.