American Air to Slash Global Flights by 75% as Virus Cuts Demand

American Airlines Group Inc. will slash long-haul international flights by 75% — the biggest reductions to date by a U.S.-based carrier — because of the collapse in travel demand and government restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus.

American will cut service starting Monday through May 6, the carrier said in a statement late Saturday. The airline will continue to operate one flight daily from Dallas-Fort Worth to London, one daily from Miami to London and three weekly flights from Dallas-Fort Worth to Tokyo.Delta Air Lines Inc. also further trimmed international flights Sunday.

The actions reflect the increasing severity of the downturn that has pummeled airlines worldwide as the virus has spread and travel restrictions have expanded. White House officials are discussing temporarily allowing cash-strapped carriers to keepsome taxes and fees they collect from passengers.

American announced the additional cuts hours after President Donald Trump extended a temporary ban on some flights into the U.S. to include those from the U.K. and Ireland, where American has an extensive partnership with carriers led by British Airways. U.S. capacity will fall 20% in April and 30% in May, both from a year earlier. American is suspending flights from New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles to London’s Heathrow Airport over the next seven days.

It’s also cutting flights temporarily to numerous cities in South America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Flights to Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and some markets in northern South America will continue as scheduled, the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline said.

Delta will temporarily suspend service between Detroit and London starting Monday and between New York’s John F. Kennedy and Dublin on March 18, the carrier said Sunday. Delta already announced plans toreduce flying and seat capacity 40%, park 300 planes, suspend hiring and offer unpaid voluntary leaves to reduce spending.

United Airlines Holdings Inc. earlier said it would cut April domestic capacity 10% and international 20%, but warned additional reductions could follow.

A Standard & Poor’s index of the five largest U.S. carriers has fallen 38% this year through March 13.

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