Southwest Airlines' Boeing 737 MAXes parked in Victorville. Photo: Mark Ralston / AFP/ Getty Images.

MIAMI – Southwest Airlines (WN) will cut 1,500 of its 4,000 daily flights from April 14 until June 5, thus adding further services to its announced reduction plan by 20%.

The flight reduction plan

From March 22, the airline suspended 1,000 flights due to low passenger demand. WN said that its goal was to cancel flights that had alternate flight or route options to affect the fewest number of its customers.

With the increase in travel restrictions, WN also decided to suspend all its international flights from March 22 until May 4, when it expects to resume normal operations.

Further, the carrier informed its customers that if their flights were to be canceled, WN would notify them as soon as possible; therefore, affected travelers need not contact the carrier.

Southwest financial situation and the US aviation industry

Southwest spent US$8.7bn and US$97m to pay its executives in the last five years, but the increase of schedule cuts following US non-essential travel guidelines and IATA’s update on revenue impact losses of US$252bn are enough reasons for the airline to further adjust its 2020 payments.

According to a report by The Guardian, major US airlines – Delta (DL), American Airlines (AA), United (UA), Alaska (AS) and WN – paid over US$45bn to shareholders and executives during 2015-2019 with no cost-saving concerns.

Today, carriers and Airlines for America (A4A) are requesting government US$50bn as part of a bailout package to help the industry, piggybacking the IATA and the Centre for Aviation (CAPA) concerning the industry’s bankruptcy and financial losses statements.