Delta Air Lines Cuts Service By 70 Percent, Grounds Planes

Delta Air Lines announced Wednesday the carrier would be forced to cut more flights and park at least half of its fleet of airplanes due to the drop in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Delta CEO Ed Bastian revealed the airline would cut passenger capacity by 70 percent across its system—including an 80-percent reduction on international service—until the demand for the routes begins to rebound.

Bastian said revenue is expected to drop by nearly $2 billion in March when compared to 2019 and the financial forecast for April is even worse. As a result, 10,000 employees will take unpaid leave, the carrier is deferring new aircraft deliveries and executives are working on $4 billion in new credit.

On Wednesday, Bastian and CEOs from the top airlines in the United States took part in a conference call with President Donald Trump to talk about the possibility of receiving federal aid. The White House is considering around $50 billion in secured loans for U.S. carriers.

Delta isn’t the only airline feeling the burden of the coronavirus outbreak, as United Airlines announced Tuesday it would reduce its number of flights scheduled for next month by a total of 60 percent, including a 42-percent drop across the U.S. and Canada and an 85-percent decrease in international flights.

American Airlines also revealed it would cut 75 percent of its international capacity through May 6 to combat the loss of revenue from decreased customer demand.

Despite the severe impact of the coronavirus on the aviation industry, several of the country’s top airlines have started offering flight deals for passengers to book for travel after bans and restrictions are lifted.

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