Most airlines and aviation companies are working on Covid-19 testing and scanning to make travel healthy again. Additionally, American Airlines is also one of such ventures. While on one hand, they are working on pre-flight screening modes. On the other hand, they have slashed their December schedule by 50%.
The real effect
The travel in the holiday season is forecasted to be less. Therefore, to match the low demand airlines are reworking their flights. Nichelle Tait, the American Airlines spokesperson stated, “We’re constantly evaluating our network to match supply and demand and have been making regular schedule adjustments since March.”
She highlighted the reason behind the slash as ” an effort to match low demand resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19), we continue to operate a reduced schedule.”
The elections, holiday season combined with the unending rise in patients have all made the forecast gloomy for the airlines.
It is interesting that American Airlines has reduced their number at New York airports. While New York and adjoining cities are most strict with precautions and travel restrictions.
Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles are the other spots that have been issued the schedule for fewer American Airlines flights in December.
However, the second half of December has been left undone in terms of confirmed flights. American Airlines is waiting for a positive response and believe that flights and the number of travelers will increase. Tait further elaborated that “In December, our schedule will be approximately 50% smaller than the same time period last year, with the exception of the last two weeks of the month, which will be approximately 45% smaller than the same time period last year during the holiday peak”
The reason to still have faith in the power of holidays as previous holidays in 2020 were well received by the Americans. Although, the percentage of this year was dramatically lower than that of past years due to the pandemic.
American Airlines chief revenue officer Vasu Raja stated to his investors that “We do anticipate that the Thanksgiving period and the December second half period will be relatively stronger because we have seen the last several holidays – Columbus Day, Labor Day, July Fourth and Memorial Day become sequentially stronger”
The better news is that they believe their flights in December will be 105,619. This figure is 10,000 flights higher than what they flew in November.
What’s in future
Although the flights have been slashed in holiday travel, there have been positive alterations as well. Firstly, this month American starts flights from Chicago to St. Lucia. In December, so far American plans to start flights to Belize from Dallas-Fort Worth and Charlotte and to Grenada from Charlotte.
On the other hand, Southwest Airlines reduced its January flights by 36%. So it is safe to say that each airline is opting for a strategy as per their forecasts.