While the call for testing isn’t new, the outlook has turned increasingly grim for airlines taking stock of a disappointing summer with rising infection rates and restrictions dashing hopes for a recovery.
United Airlines sending layoff notices to nearly half of U.S. employees
The furloughs would include 15,000 flight attendants, 11,000 customer service and gate agents, 5,500 maintenance workers and 2,250 pilots.Read More
For Republic Airways, virus thwarts years of progress
The entire airline industry is in crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying recommendations and mandates for social distancing.Read More
Airlines slash flights, freeze hiring as virus cuts travel
Delta, the world’s biggest airline, said it will cut international flights by 20% to 25% and reduce U.S. flying by 10% to 15%, roughly matching cuts previously announced by United Airlines.Read More
Qantas, among the latest to advertise a flight that departs and arrives at the same airport with no stops along the way, said the trip sold out less than 10 minutes after going on sale.
According to FlightAware statistics, on Aug. 23, U.S. airlines operated 15,419 flights, down 45% from a year earlier. On that same day, the United States saw 8,883 business aviation flights—down only 4% from a year earlier.
American Airlines plans to offer seasonal flights to Cancun beginning in December, and Delta Air Lines will begin offering flights to Memphis starting Oct. 1.
Southwest Airlines didn’t levy the $200 change fees to start with, so Monday’s announcements mean that the four biggest U.S. carriers will have roughly similar policies.
The move by United Airlines will put pressure on American Airlines and Delta Air Lines to drop their change fees, also $200 on domestic travel.
The pandemic has caused airline travel to fall sharply, decimating revenue. Travel has recovered somewhat from very low points in March and April, but it still hasn’t come back to its pre-pandemic levels.
Passenger traffic has recovered slightly since the beginning of the pandemic but remains down 70% from a year ago, and carriers say they need fewer workers.
American Airlines is planning to drop flights to up to 30 smaller U.S. cities if a federal requirement to continue those flights expires at the end of next month, an airline executive familiar with the matter said Thursday.
United’s planned new winter flights to Florida, which will depart from New York, Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and Columbus, Ohio, are aimed at leisure travelers. But the airline is prepared to reverse course if necessary.
The moves come as airlines try to reassure passengers and their own employees about safety during a pandemic that has made many people afraid to fly.
American’s move matches the policy of United Airlines but contrasts sharply with rivals that limit bookings to create space between passengers to minimize the risk of contagion.
Airlines for America, a trade organization, said a group of major American airlines will begin “vigorously” enforcing face-covering policies after reports of travelers not being held to the safety standard.
After a pronounced slump in air travel in the spring, airlines are adding back flights as they hope to salvage some lost revenue during the key summer travel season.
As states and localities reopen for business, carriers are developing procedures to ensure that flying is safe.
American Airlines said it will aggressively add back flights in July, while United Airlines also announced plans to add back flights, while taking a more cautious approach.
Shortly after disclosing the job cuts, Boeing announced Wednesday that it has resumed production of the grounded 737 Max jetliner. Two deadly crashes of Max jets pushed Boeing into a financial crisis months before the coronavirus squeezed global air travel to a trickle.
The airline said trip cancellations have pulled back from a peak in March but remain at levels that Southwest has never seen, as customers scrap plans to travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
Indianapolis-based Republic Airways told The Wall Street Journal that it was still in discussions with the Treasury.
The U.S. Treasury Department and leading airlines continued negotiating Monday over terms of relief payments, with the Treasury sticking to a proposal that could give the government an ownership stake in the nation’s leading carriers.