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Airlines worldwide cutting flights in response to COVID-19

/ 07:53 PM March 16, 2020
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Airlines around the world have been forced to cut capacity amid the fast-moving COVID-19 crisis which is grinding the travel world to a stop.

United Airlines announced late Sunday that it will be cutting flight capacity by 50% for the months of April and May. In a message to employees, CEO Oscar Munoz and president J. Scott Kirby added that the cuts are expected to extend into the summer travel period and that load factors are expected to drop “into the 20 [to] 30% range.”

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In the first two weeks of March, United says they flew more than one million fewer customers, compared to the same period last year. March is typically the busiest month of the year for the carrier.

“The bad news is that it’s getting worse. We expect both the number of customers and revenue to decline sharply in the days and weeks ahead.”

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On Monday, Air France-KLM also announced plans to slash its seat capacity by 70% to 90% over the next two months.

Likewise, American Airlines is reducing international capacity by 75% compared to last year, starting Monday until May 6. Short-haul international flights to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and certain markets in the northern part of South America, will continue as scheduled. JB

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