Like I said, the whole thing is largely overblown in-game.
In reality, most airlines operate at VERY thin margins with planes operating at 75-85%LF at best. Routes are highly-competitive and you can't just combat a pax loss by opening up some underserved routes, because there really aren't any. So when traffic falls, even a little, pretty much every lost passenger goes straight to the bottom line as a loss.
In AWS margins tend to be so high that few people notice if they lose a little bit. And even if they did they just open up some routes to underserved destinations and, voila, instantly the "recession" is over.