While several airlines in Europe are suspending operations, U.S. airlines are hanging in but at a much reduced schedule. United Airlines, in an effort to aggressively manage the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on employees, passengers and still remain aloft has responded to the continued dive in travel demand by announcing a 60 percent schedule reduction in April. The move includes a 42 percent reduction across the U.S. and Canada and an 85 percent decrease in international flights.
Across the Atlantic, Pacific and Latin America, United will operate approximately 45 daily flights in April.
While United does not plan to suspend service to any single U.S. city now (with the exception of Mammoth Lakes, CA) the airline is closely monitoring demand as well as changes in state and local curfews and government restrictions across the U.S. and will adjust its schedule accordingly throughout the month.
Meanwhile, American Airlines said Saturday it plans to cut 75% of its international flights through May 6 and ground nearly all its widebody fleet, as airlines respond to the global collapse in travel demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Reuters. It anticipates a reduction of its domestic capacity by 20% in April and 30% in May versus the same period in 2019. JetBlue is slashing service by 40 percent as its usual $22 million revenue mark for March dropped to $4 million from cancellations and refunds. JetBlue had already reduced its capacity for April by 5%.
“We are not alone. Virtually every major carrier is taking actions that were almost unthinkable a few weeks ago, making huge schedule reductions and parking significant portions of their fleets,” JetBlue’s CEO Robin Hayes and President Joanna Geraghty said in a letter to its 23,000 crew members. The airline company is joining others in the industry in calling on the federal government to provide assistance to get airlines back to full capacity after the coronavirus pandemic passes.