The three US legacy passenger carriers have announced changes to their schedules after a four-month period in which capacity and demand had hit all-time low due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Flight Global reported that United Airlines and Delta Air Lines said they are raising their capacity to between 35 and 40 per cent of normal during the 2020 summer travel season. On its part, American Airlines has announced a “reset” on its international network, utilising more partners in order to increase profitability for what it expects will be a prolonged period of low demand to those long-haul destinations.
“Covid-19 has forced us to reevaluate our network,” American’s chief revenue officer Vasu Raja said.
“American will have a significantly smaller international network in the year ahead, but we are using this opportunity to hit reset and create a network using the strength of our strategic hubs that we can build and grow upon and be profitable on in this new environment.”
Some flights that would be permanently axed from the schedule include three connections each from Charlotte and Philadelphia, two east coast hubs that are popular with travelers to Europe.
American will also cut several connections from Los Angeles to Asia, and will shift its major trans-pacific hub to Dallas/Fort Worth. Miami will remain the carrier’s primary hub for flights to the Caribbean and Latin America, the airline said.
Chicago-based United said recently that it would add nearly 25,000 flights during the month of August, tripling its schedule size from June.