2 major U.S. airlines likely to cut flights amid virus outbreak-Xinhua

2 major U.S. airlines likely to cut flights amid virus outbreak

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2020-03-12 07:34:40

SAN FRANCISCO, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Executives of two major U.S. airlines have said they are considering cutting flights in the coming months due to the precipitous drop in air traffic demand amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"We've recently seen a material reduction bookings along with a spike in cancellations," Ben Minicucci, president of Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, said at an industry conference this week.

Since Feb. 24, Alaska Airlines has seen 265,000 fewer bookings for March departures than the previous year, and 270,000 more cancellations for this month.

"The velocity and severity of the decline is breathtaking," said Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly.

Both executives were looking to cut nonessential spending and freeze hiring. They also suggested that if the travel slump continues, once Boeing's 737 MAX is ungrounded, their airlines might postpone planned deliveries.

San Francisco City Controller Ben Rosenfeld said overseas air travel has been hit even harder than domestic flights as coronavirus spreads around the world.

International landings at San Francisco International Airport went down 20 percent this week, and domestic landings dropped 12 percent, according to Rosenfeld.


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