United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz has reportedly announced that the US air-carrier is likely to ground more transatlantic as well as domestic flights due to reduced demands surrounding the global coronavirus outbreak. United has already suspended flights to Asia, mainland China, and Hong Kong till April 30, and has slashed operation with Japan and South Korea, as per media reports.
United Airlines has been facing the issue of subdued demands for the flights, including for its trans-pacific routes, as passengers are avoiding air travel due to COVID-19 epidemic, the chief executive informed the crew in an official email. He said that the airline company was strategically managing its Atlantic and domestic service, mindful of travel directives from the federal government, fluctuating demand and of course, the advice of public health experts.
He further stated that the crew must expect an additional schedule reduction basis ongoing trend of a dip in the flights demand. He, however, did not specify the routes for which the planes will face the temporary suspension. The Chicago based aircraft carrier revealed that the demand for the trans-pacific route planes had decelerated by an alarming 75 percent, while in China, the demand almost vanished. Reports suggest that United Airlines generated 40 per cent of its revenue from international travel.
According to the International Air Transport Association’s report, United Airline’s shrinkage in global airline capacity, which is calculated basis seats left vacant in the grounded planes, is one of the largest after the US 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in the year 2001. The revenue scaled down by an estimated $19.6 billion after the 9/11 incident in 2002, the coronavirus, however, is estimated to incur $29.3 billion loss to the airlines company in 2020, analysts claimed.
IBA Aviation Consultancy CEO Phil Seymour said in an international aviation journal that the coronavirus outbreak is unpredictable at the time, therefore, the company can no longer make assessment of how long the aircrafts will remain suspended. The situation is extremely grim, he added.
Coronavirus schedule updates: We are suspending some service to Tokyo Narita, Osaka, Singapore and Seoul. China and Hong Kong flight suspensions are extended through 4/30. We will stay in close contact with the CDC as we continue to evaluate our schedule. https://t.co/qNMXQnoHLC pic.twitter.com/pR1XwjlHcT— United Airlines (@united) February 28, 2020