Delta Air Lines is planning to hold its flights in August as the coronavirus cases increase in the United States. Whereas, in Asia and Europe there is a decline in new infections.
Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta airlines notified the increase in coronavirus cases to staff. However, he informed the staff that there will be a reduction in flight schedule later in summer during a virtual town hall.
Number of Daily Flight
Delta was planning to operate around 2,000 daily flights in August. However, this was more than what it was planning to operate next month.
“We don’t [want to] put more flying into a market than either what customer demand is or what our health advocates suggest in terms of keeping people at home as best we can,” he said.
However, the spike in coronavirus cases is a major concern for the airlines. Also for the economy as the states in the US begin to reopen after months of shutdown.
Most of the cases reported are in southern and western states. This States which has most cases includes Arizona, Florida, and Texas. These were the first States to reopen after the pandemic lockdown.
However, Cowen analyst Helane Becker stated in a report that the chances of recovery in air travel are thin as COVID-19 cases are increasing.
Traveler numbers have yet to reflect the rising case count. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screenings reported 607,540 people passing through airport checkpoints on Monday, June 22. The number has first time increased since March which was 600,000. But the rise is still just 22% of what it was last year.
The analyst Cowen expects the number of people passing through airport checkpoints to be more than 600,000 in the next month for the July 4 holiday travel period.
The Airlines Concerns
However, for July there are other concerns for the US airlines as how will the coronavirus situation unfolds in the coming months will be another challenger for the airlines.
For instance the tri-state region of Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. These areas were among the hardest hit in the pandemic’s early days. It has caused restrictions to be placed on those leaving the region. Airlines drastically cut flight numbers there amid low demand.
However, now these states are seeing a decline in new cases as they were following a strict lockdown. Moreover, to protect the people these states are implementing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone traveling from nine states that have a high number of cases.
Airlines, however, have not commensurately cut flights between those nine states and the New York City region as they did previously. But according to the analyst Cowen sudden spike in cases is a warning for a decline in demand for travel.
However, American Airlines and United Airlines representatives said that instead of quarantine in some states the airlines have not changed their schedules.
Whereas, in April both the airlines cut their flights for New York. American Airlines reduced its flights to 13 in a day and United to 17 flights a day.
However, Delta did not reduce its schedule. It was flying 50 flights a day to the region’s three airports.