United Airlines Airbus A319. Photo: Luke Ayers

MIAMI – Responding to the decreased demand in travel brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic, American Airlines (AA) and United Airlines (UA) have both announced drastic reductions to their scheduled holiday services.

American Airlines has reduced its schedule for November 2020 by 86,000 flights, which amounts to 46% of its total holiday schedule. Nichelle Tait, a spokeswoman for AA, attributed the change to “an effort to match low demand resulting from coronavirus.” UA has followed suit by announcing it will also cut its amount of flights for November by 52%.

American Airlines aircraft parked. Photo: The Associated Press.

Flight Cancelations Follow Staff Furloughs

The news comes not long after over 32,000 airline employees from both carriers combined were furloughed on October 1, after financial relief from the CARES Act had expired. Currently, there is no deal in place to extend financial support to the carriers, but discussions with Congress and the White House are ongoing.

As reported in the Miami Herald, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently estimated global air travel to be down by 92% as compared to last year. The association has recently made a public push for a global approach to COVID 19 testing to reverse this trend and jump-start air travel. Many carriers fear that without a change in the current trends, additional cancelations and furloughs may be on the horizon.

Featured image: United Airlines Airbus A319 | Photo: Luke Ayers