Airlines cut back on flights as coronavirus scares away travelers

Mar 24, 2020, 7:51 AM
Southwest 737 MAX Boeing, airlines...
Airlines are cutting flights left and right. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Airlines are cutting back service as demand for flights continues to plummet.

Boeing to suspend production operations in response to coronavirus

Seattle’s Morning News co-host Dave Ross saw that demand firsthand over the weekend, flying from Pittsburgh to Seattle, with just 56 people on the plane with him.

The passengers just aren’t there, and like we have discussed about Sound Transit and Metro, it just doesn’t make sense for the airlines to be running empty flights.

Alaska Airlines has announced that it will cut 200 flights a day for the rest of the month; that’s out of about 1,300 daily flights. The airline will park 30 of its jets around the country during this move. Alaska’s fleet numbers about 230 planes.

It’s expected to gut its service to Hawaii, since the governor there has said anyone who flies into the state must go into a 14-day quarantine.

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Southwest Airlines is close to making the same call on flights to Hawaii. Southwest will be cutting 1,500 flights a day, starting Friday; that’s out of around 4,000 daily flights.

American Airlines has cut international flights by 75%. Domestic flight cuts have reached 30% through April. Delta plans to cut 70% of all of its flights, parking at least 600 planes. United has cut at least 60% of its flights.

If you have upcoming travel on any airline, be sure to have some time carved out to work with customer service. I’ve been hearing from friends that hold times can be in the hours.

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Airlines cut back on flights as coronavirus scares away travelers