In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, the resulting US travel bans, and falling traveller numbers, American Airlines will continue with a series of long-haul service suspensions, starting today, with cuts likely to last until early May.
The airline will reduce international capacity by 75 percent from March 16 until May 6, with destinations in Europe and Asia most affected.
Cuts to Asia and Oceania Destinations
American will suspend all remaining flights to Asia, except for three flights per week between Dallas-Fort Worth and Tokyo Narita. In addition, AA will suspend its Los Angeles – Auckland service (which was slated to end seasonal flying March 28) today, and the Los Angeles-Sydney service.
Phased Europe Suspensions
The US carrier will also make graduated cuts to its European services in lieu of a recent travel ban on Trans-Atlantic services. American will continue to operate one flight daily from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to London Heathrow (LHR) and Miami (MIA) to London (LHR).
AA will also Suspend flights from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), and LAX to LHR gradually over the next seven days to accommodate passengers and crew.
London (LHR), Dublin (DUB) and Manchester (MAN) flights from Charlotte (CLT), Philadelphia (PHL) and Phoenix (PHX) will be suspended faster, as these airports are not approved gateways by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Final westbound flights returning from London, Dublin and Manchester will depart March 16.
AA will continue with suspensions in other parts of Europe, as previously announced, including the delayed start of some seasonal routes as well as flights to and from Amsterdam (AMS), Barcelona (BCN), Frankfurt (FRA), Madrid (MAD) and Munich (MUC) Paris (CDG) and Zurich (ZRH) through early May, or later, based on guidance from the U.S. government and customer demand.
South American Cuts
South American has not been spared from the service cuts, with AA announcing a suspension, effective March 16, of services from New York (JFK) and Miami (MIA) to Rio de Janeiro (GIG) and Georgetown, Guyana (GEO); from DFW, JFK and MIA to São Paulo (GRU); from DFW and MIA to Santiago (SCL); Bogota (BOG); Guayaquil (GYE); Quito (UIO); Lima (LIM); and from MIA to Brasilia (BSB); Manaus (MAO); Barranquilla (BAQ); Cartagena (CTG); Cali (CLO); Medellin (MDE); and Pereira (PEI).
Short-Haul as Scheduled
The carrier will continue short-haul international flying, which includes flights to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and certain markets in the northern part of South America, as scheduled.
In addition to the international changes, the airline anticipates its domestic capacity in April will be reduced by 20 percent compared to last year and May’s domestic capacity will be reduced by 30 percent.
Other Airlines Also Making Cuts
Due to lack of demand and travel bans on Trans-Atlantic routes, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) will halt most of its traffic starting March 16, while temporarily laying off up to 10,000 employees. The suspension of flights will continue “until there are yet again conditions to conduct commercial aviation”, the airline says.
Etihad has also made suspensions, cutting flights to Amman in Jordan from March 17-31; reducing capacity to Bangkok to double-daily March 21 – May 2; and suspending flights to Barcelona, Beirut, Casablanca, Rabat, Istanbul, Madrid, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia until March 31.
In addition, the carrier will suspend all Hong Kong flights until June 30, reduce the Jakarta service to daily until June 30, suspend Milan flights until April 30, reduce its Seoul service to four-times a week until April 30, and suspend its Rome services (EY85 on April 30 and EY83 on June 30).
The airline had already announced reductions on its Bahrain and Muscat services, and suspensions on its Shanghai, Chengdu, and Nagoya routes.