United Will Reduce Capacity By 50% In April, May, And Into Summer; Poll: Is It Time For Airlines To Suspend Operations?

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United told their employees today to expect deep flight cuts, as demand falls off a cliff:


Starting tomorrow, they will reduce systemwide capacity by 50% in April and May, and they expect the cuts to continue into the peak summer travel season.

They’re also prepared for a scenario where demand drops to zero, which would require the airline to temporarily suspend operations, as some European airlines have already done.

Of course those orders could also come from the government, even if demand doesn’t fall to zero.

United notes that the airline industry’s problems are a catch-22, as getting people to fly means that society will be more at risk:

“Together, we’re facing an unprecedented challenge. When medical experts say that our health and safety depends on people staying home and practicing social distancing, it’s nearly impossible to run a business whose shared purpose is “Connecting people. Uniting the world.”

Is it time for airlines around the world to temporarily suspend operations?

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28 Comments On "United Will Reduce Capacity By 50% In April, May, And Into Summer; Poll: Is It Time For Airlines To Suspend Operations?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


The loss of revenue now for airlines is payback from God for all the baggage fees and other inhuman fees they have been charging. They deserve it. They took away a human right.


That’s not how it works. They will just forward these expenses back onto us. When this mess will (please G-D) clear up, everything will return to status quo of airlines continuing to charge inhuman fees. Let us only pray that they won’t feel the need to overcompensate for all of their losses. Ultimately it is the consumer that suffers.


Did they actually cancel flights, or is this just the announcement?

Black swan

It’s nearly impossible for companies to plan for “disaster” scenarios like this. Airlines, hotels, restaurants, etc. What we’ll see for a while after this all blows over is companies taking on far less debt, growing less aggressively, and otherwise just taking a more conservative stance. Bankruptcy is not fun… for shareholders. Risk tolerance will go way down. No interest rate cut, no quantitative easing, no nothing can change any of that for a while, IMHO.


They were profitable for a few years, making travel pricier and harder, but no one said anything because capitalism. Do you feel bad for them now?

Do you think that the government should step up and help them?


The government should and will help them. It’s in everyone’s best interest that there should be functioning airlines to allow society to restart after this blows over and the dust settles.


Yes and no, it’s a business like any other business. If the government helps them they should help every other business losing money during this time.


I have a trip booked with United to Italy in mid-May (basic economy) which at this point almost certainly wont be happening. Am I better off calling now to try to cancel get a United credit for future use or wait to see if the flights get canceled in which case I may be able to get a cash refund (after the year wait)?


Well never in my life have I seen nonstop RT flights for Pesach from NY to FLL and MCO for around $60. Signs of desperation, so I’m not surprised that flights will be cut


BTW, it might not be a bad idea to head to Florida,
Warm weather is supposed to help…


Problem is the transfer of the virus from all northern affected areas. Even if it’s warmer, some strains may survive and the spread is only worsened


@dan; thinking of starting an airline? (Once things are a little more settled). This might be your chance..


Good thinking


Can we get a poll/vote what it should be called;
Plain ‘DansDeals’
Any Others?


I wonder if there will be a DansDeals alert every time there is a pricing glitch


“Best way to make a small fortune is to start with a big fortune and open an airline.”


Im surprised the busiest month of the year is march i would have thought its in the summer


The questionaire is if you’re an owner of an airline or a bochur etc…..


I think the flight should separate passengers and seat them every other seat . That would keep them afloat and help passengers a well


The airlines took advantage of aircraft that flew using less fuel and crowding more pax on their aircraft. they sure had this coming to themselves.

Surely they will try to recoup their losses when travel returns UNLESS they get some federal help in which cases they better behave till they repay the help.


Does that mean that every person will have an empty next to them ?


I think mostly they do already


How many routes do the Big Three have in common? Suspend antitrust rules to let them agree on monopoly allocation. American gets LA to NY, Delta gets California to Atlanta and Miami, United gets Chicago to all three destinations. Flights are scheduled based on 80% capacity. If the revenue doesn’t balance out, let them share among themselves.


What I don’t get is why airlines (of all class restrctions) why they don’t open up free seat selection. Have an ability to select quieter parts of the aircraft or sit with family and not strangers. They should allow that flexibility, they aren’t making the money on the passenger volume these days or the base fare