Coronavirus and Airlines

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In-depth reporting and breaking news on how COVID-19 is impacting airlines in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and other destinations. Read updates on airline refund policies, fleet management, cancelled routes, and more. For broader coverage of coronavirus and its impact on the travel industry, please visit our liveblog.

American and Delta Join United in Ending Domestic Change Fees

American and Delta Join United in Ending Domestic Change Fees

Brian Sumers, Skift

Because these are airlines, consumers will want to know: What's the catch. But there probably isn't one. Times are tough in the airline industry, and this is as good a time as any to end unpopular fees.

4 weeks ago

United Airlines Eliminates Ticket Change Fees for U.S. Domestic Flights

United Airlines Eliminates Ticket Change Fees for U.S. Domestic Flights

Tracy Rucinski, Reuters

If Southwest can live without change fees and still deliver quarter after quarter, it doesn't take a pandemic to understand that maybe other airlines can pull it off, too.

1 month ago

United Airlines Unveils New Algorithm to Help It Target Empty Flights

United Airlines Unveils New Algorithm to Help It Target Empty Flights

Brian Sumers, Skift

In normal times, giant global network airlines don't cancel many flights for low load factors. They don't want to annoy high-value passengers, and they might need the airplane or crew at the next destination anyways. But United is now watching every penny.

1 month ago

The Safety Pitch From This Dallas Charter Airline Includes Open Air Terminals

The Safety Pitch From This Dallas Charter Airline Includes Open Air Terminals

Brian Sumers, Skift

JSX might be an option for people who want to fly but don't feel comfortable flying through a big airport terminal.

1 month ago

United Warns It Will Lay Off 20 Percent of Its Pilots Without More U.S. Aid

United Warns It Will Lay Off 20 Percent of Its Pilots Without More U.S. Aid

Tracy Rucinski, Reuters

The threats and gamesmanship are heating up with a month to go before U.S. aid to airlines expires and workers are at risk. This would be the largest reduction of pilots in United's history.

1 month ago

Cash-Strapped Delta Faces Repaying $300 Million on Behalf of Struggling Brazilian Carrier Gol

Cash-Strapped Delta Faces Repaying $300 Million on Behalf of Struggling Brazilian Carrier Gol

Marcelo Rochabrun, Reuters

Delta Airlines is in no position to clean up the financial mess of one of its former subsidiary carriers, but that is precisely what the company is facing with Brazil's Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes.

1 month ago

American’s Pandemic Job Losses Could Top 40,000 Without More Relief, Airline Warns

American’s Pandemic Job Losses Could Top 40,000 Without More Relief, Airline Warns

Brian Sumers, Skift

Airlines are using all the leverage they have to persuade Congress to extend their bailout. Congress will probably bite. But is that the right move?

1 month ago

Latin America’s Despegar Is on a Buying Spree Despite Pandemic Challenges

Latin America’s Despegar Is on a Buying Spree Despite Pandemic Challenges

Dennis Schaal, Skift

Despegar is playing the hand it's been dealt during the depths of the coronavirus crisis, and that means it will cut costs, ensure liquidity, and be on the prowl for opportunistic acquisitions to take market share.

1 month ago

Why Being Grounded for Months Was the Best Pandemic Outcome for This Airline

Why Being Grounded for Months Was the Best Pandemic Outcome for This Airline

Brian Sumers, Skift

U.S. airlines are flying all they can and selling cheap fares to fill planes. Copa was required by its government to do the opposite. It effectively stopped flying for months. It lost a lot of money in the second quarter, but perhaps not as much as you might think.

1 month ago

Surging Covid Cases Didn’t Deter Americans From Taking Summer Vacations: New Skift Travel Tracker Survey

Surging Covid Cases Didn’t Deter Americans From Taking Summer Vacations: New Skift Travel Tracker Survey

Haixia Wang, Skift

Despite rising Covid-19 cases, 35 percent of Americans traveled in July. But most are not taking their typical summer vacations.

1 month ago

Airports Push for New Contactless Tech and Automation as Budgets Shrink

Airports Push for New Contactless Tech and Automation as Budgets Shrink

Sean O'Neill, Skift

The airport sector needs to invest in contactless tech and automation through the challenges. A recent product contest with vendors and a new accreditation program may help airports make progress.

1 month ago

Private Jet Operators Are Stealing Passengers from U.S. Airlines

Private Jet Operators Are Stealing Passengers from U.S. Airlines

Brian Sumers, Skift

Private jet operators did not do well in the Great Recession. When March hit, they figured they were stuck in another disaster. But things have turned out better than expected.

1 month ago