In an attempt “to match low demand,” American has cut over 100,000 flights on its December 2020 schedule. That’s leaving them with about 10,000 more flights than they had in November, after they, along with Delta, United and Southwest, made massive cuts during that month.
December is usually a busy month for flights, especially as the calendar gets closer to the holiday season. However with cases of COVID-19 skyrocketing across the country, local governments tightening restrictions on incoming travel, as well as warnings against larger social gatherings, many would-be passengers are choosing to stay home this year.
The carrier eliminated nearly all of its flights from its Chicago O’Hare, Philadelphia and Los Angeles hubs. They also cut about 86% of their flights out of JFK and LaGuardia airports in NYC. This is, no doubt, in response to that area’s stringent travel mandates.
American will offer about 5% more flights during the last 2 weeks of December, since they expect a small bump of people who will travel during the holidays, COVID-19 precautions notwithstanding.
“We do anticipate that the Thanksgiving period and the December second half period will be relatively stronger … because we have seen the last several holidays — Columbus Day, Labor Day, July Fourth and Memorial Day — become sequentially stronger,” American Airlines chief revenue officer Vasu Raja said during a call with investors.
American isn’t the only airline to decrease the number of flights in December. Legacy carriers Delta and United have also made huge cuts to their respective end-of-year schedules. Southwest Airlines removed more than 90,000 flights from its November and December schedules.
Passenger screening numbers from the Transportation Security Administration show that airline traffic is still only about 36% of what it was a year ago.
Feature Image: American Airlines
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary