Share markets plummet as coronavirus wreaks havoc on travel industry

Share markets around the world have posted their largest falls in more than 30 years, as the coronavirus wreaks havoc for the travel industry. 

The number of travellers passing through Auckland Airport has plummeted, wiping tens of millions of dollars from its finances and international cruise ship companies have paused global operations.

The global pandemic is expected to wipe up to $60 million from Auckland Airport's full-year finances. 

The airport's chief executive Adrian Littlewood says it's "quite an unusual time".

With more travel bans and border restrictions possible, the worst may be yet to come. 

"It could get worse - it's a fluid situation," he told Newshub. 

Meanwhile travel agents are dealing with cancellation after cancellation. 

"This was set to be [the] best year for travel, now [it] is one of the worst," said Hello World New Zealand General Manager Simon McKearney. 

Those who work in New Zealand's largest export industry are likely to face job losses if companies hit the wall. 

Flight Centre has announced it will close 100 branches in Australia but that won't affect its business here.

Half of Hello World's wholesale division earns its keep from cruise bookings - but the world's biggest cruise lines - Disney, Viking and Princess are all suspending their operations

Princess Cruises has two ships due to arrive in New Zealand tomorrow.

Cruises underway at the moment that are due to end in the next five days will keep sailing as usual. 

But those that extend beyond next Tuesday will terminate at the nearest dock and ships will be parked up until May.

Travel agents are encouraging those with bookings to swap for another voyage in the future.

But with the coronavirus now expected to spark a global recession, travellers might be cautious to spend for some time.