Airlines are slashing flights and freezing hiring as they experience a sharp drop in bookings and a rise in cancellations in the face of the spreading coronavirus.

Delta said Tuesday that travel demand has fallen so badly in the past week that it expects one-third of seats to be empty this month on flights within the U.S.

The drop in travel demand is across the board -- business travelers are grounded as meetings and conferences are being canceled, and leisure travelers are avoiding unnecessary trips.

Delta says fear of travel is felt most sharply among people over 55, and it’s worse on the West Coast than the East Coast.

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