Free stories left to read

Airline Weekly subscribers get unlimited access to daily news and weekly issues.

American Airlines Slashes October Schedule

Madhu Unnikrishnan

August 31st, 2020 at 12:18 PM EDT

American Airlines said it will cut its October flight schedule by 55%, compared with October last year as demand for air travel remains depressed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. American’s domestic schedule will be 48% smaller in October compared with 2019, and its international schedule will be 68% smaller, a spokeswoman for the airline said.

But American is reallocating its capacity to meet demand where it is. The airline is adding nine seasonal flights from the U.S. to Mexican beach destinations, and it’s adding new Florida and Phoenix flights from several northern cities.

This move is not surprising. In a letter to employees last week, CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom warned that the company could lay off or furlough as many as 19,000 employees on Oct. 1 when the CARES Act’s payroll support expires. “It was assumed that by Sept. 30, the virus would be under control and demand for air travel would have returned,” they wrote, adding that demand now suggests the airline will result in the airline being 50% smaller in the fourth quarter.

American expects to have 40,000 fewer employees total after Oct. 1, when employees taking voluntary separation offers are added to the projected number of involuntary furloughs.

Parker and Isom are urging Congress to consider a “clean extension” of the payroll support program to prevent massive airline-industry layoffs. News broke last week that the White House is considering executive action to address the issue, but how much room it has to act without Congressional approval remains uncertain. Further fiscal aid remains snarled in Congress, and it is unclear how much political will there is for further negotiations. Although more airline aid has the broad support of management and labor groups, some industry analysts have argued that another bailout will keep the industry too large to match demand.

American earlier this month said it would axe flights to 15 smaller markets altogether.

Madhu Unnikrishnan

August 31st, 2020 at 12:18 PM EDT

Photo credit:  American Airlines

Up Next


U.S. Airlines Expect Further Easing of China Flight Limits this Winter

U.S. and Chinese airlines are eager to resume nonstop flights between the two countries following a diplomatic accord in August doubling the number allowed. They have proposed 63 weekly flights…

September 25th, 2023 at 3:30 PM EDT


KLM CEO Rebukes Dutch Proposal to Tax Transit Passengers at Schiphol

KLM CEO Marjan Rintel offered a firm rebuke of a proposal in the Netherlands' legislature to tax transfer passengers at the airline's hub, Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

September 22nd, 2023 at 11:52 AM EDT

Latin America

What Are Mexican Airlines to Do?

Mexico's airlines face two countervailing trends: the reopening of the U.S. to new growth countered by new restrictions at the country's busiest airport, Mexico City International. Edward Russell and Jay…

September 22nd, 2023 at 10:00 AM EDT


TUI Bullish on European Leisure Travel this Winter

TUI is bullish winter travel demand with bookings exhibiting ‚Äúpositive momentum," the European travel conglomerate said Thursday. The outlook comes after summer bookings came in well ahead of last summer's…

September 21st, 2023 at 10:53 AM EDT

North America

U.S. Government Shutdown Could Worsen Air Traffic Controller Shortage

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had bleak words for House members Wednesday on the impact of a potential federal government shutdown to the country's air transportation system.

September 20th, 2023 at 4:06 PM EDT

Special Offer: Choose From Quarterly or Annual Subscription Plans

2 of 3 free stories left to read