United Airlines Expects Demand to Remain Suppressed for Remainder of 2020 and Likely into 2021

United Airlines has announced that it will further
reduce capacity as it continues to battle what has been described
as the biggest challenge the airline has faced in its 94-year

This weekend, the airline will load a
revamped schedule that will reduce capacity to about 10% of
what had been planned for May at the beginning of this year.

The airline expects to make similar reductions to
the June schedule, and will make an announcement about that in the
next few weeks.

Less than 200,000 people flew with United Airlines
during the first two weeks of April, compared to more than 6
million during the same time in 2019, a 97% drop. The airline has
said it expects to fly fewer people during the entire month of May
2020 than it did on a single day in May 2019.

A message sent from Oscar Munoz, CEO, and J. Scott
Kirby, President, to the nearly 100,000 United
Airlines employees on Wednesday, stated that, “The historically severe economic impact of this
crisis means even when travel demand starts to inch back, it
likely will not bounce back quickly. We believe that the health
concerns about COVID19 are likely to linger which means even when
social distancing measures are relaxed, and businesses and schools
start to reopen, life won’t necessarily return to normal. For
example, not all states and cities are expected to re-open at the
same time. Some international travel restrictions will remain in
place. Meeting planners and tour operators will do their best to
accommodate people looking to avoid large crowds. So, while we
have not yet finalized changes to our schedule for July and
August, we expect demand to remain suppressed for the remainder of
2020 and likely into next year.”

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