I don’t want to write 24/7 about the impact the coronavirus is having on the airline industry, but rather want to focus on those airlines that are making choices that counter the trend. That leaves me with quite a few things to write about, given that this is also a rapidly developing situation.
American Airlines first cut mainland China flights
Over the weekend I wrote about how American Airlines cut all flights to mainland China through March 27, 2020. For March 28 and beyond, American will make adjustments as necessary.
American said that this decision was made as a result of the US Department of State’s increase of the China Travel Advisory to a Level 4 (“Do Not Travel”).
However, this also followed American’s pilot union filing a lawsuit against the company, as they were refusing to operate flights to China.
What was odd about the situation is that the pilots didn’t really differentiate between mainland China and Hong Kong for these purposes, so we saw serious delays to Hong Kong flights, as pilots refused to operate these flights as well.
American Airlines then cut Hong Kong flights
Earlier this week American Airlines suspended all Hong Kong flights through February 20, 2020. This included both their flights from Dallas and Los Angeles.
This didn’t come as much of a surprise, as the airline had previously started to zero out inventory on the routes, which is often done in anticipation of flight cancelations.
American initially claimed that this decision was just made due to “operational reasons,” but didn’t expand beyond that.
American Airlines extends LAX to HKG suspension
It has now been announced that American Airlines is extending the cancelation of their Los Angeles to Hong Kong flight through March 27, 2020. As of now the airline plans to resume Dallas to Hong Kong flights as of February 21, 2020, though presumably that has a chance of being extended.
American Airlines says that this decision has been made due to a reduction in demand.
American Airlines has canceled all flights to Hong Kong through February 20, and has canceled Los Angeles to Hong Kong flights through March 27, 2020.
The airline notes that they will continue to review flight schedules to ensure they can accommodate the needs of customers, and will make additional refinement as needed. Therefore I wouldn’t assume that either of the service resumption dates are set in stone.
We’ve now seen both American and United cut Hong Kong flights, in addition to all three big US carriers cutting mainland China flights. As of now United’s cancelations for Hong Kong just extend through February 20, 2020.