Coronavirus

Airlines Add Flights To Schedules As Demand Begins To Return, Block Middle Seats For Safety

Airlines Add Flights To Schedules

American Airlines is intending to fly 55 percent of its domestic schedule and almost 20 percent of its international schedule next month in comparison to the same timeframe in 2019, according to an announcement. Vasu Raja, American Airlines senior vice president of network strategy, said in the announcement, “We’re seeing a slow but steady rise in domestic demand. After a careful review of data, we’ve built a July schedule to match.” The air carrier’s capacity throughout its system next month will arrive at roughly 40 percent of its flying in July of last year.

In other news, Delta Airlines will block middle seats from being chosen and limit seating in each class up to September 30, according to an announcement. The company also said that it will keep blocking the selection of some aisle seats in aircraft that have a 2x2 seating arrangement. Chief Customer Experience Officer Bill Lentsch said in an announcement, “Reducing the overall number of customers on every aircraft across the fleet is one of the most important steps we can take to ensure a safe experience for our customers and people.”

On another note, Hawaiian Airlines has implemented procedures to stop the coronavirus, The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported. Travelers, in one case, will be seated by row from the back to the front to reduce interactions between individuals. They also need to wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth when getting onto the aircraft, during the length of the flight and when leaving the plane. The company’s staffers will also have masks on when they work with travelers.

And Frontier Airlines put into place temperature screenings for all of its crew staffers and travelers before boarding, according to an announcement. Frontier Airlines CEO Barry Biffle said in the announcement, “Temperature screenings are the latest addition to our comprehensive, multi-layered approach to supporting the health and well-being of everyone onboard our aircraft.” Individuals that have a temperature of or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will not be allowed to fly.

In other news, Silk Air and Singapore Airlines (SIA) are expanding the number of destinations in addition to the occurrence of some current services this month and next, Business Traveler reported. Restored planned service encompasses trips to Hong Kong, Barcelona, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam, among other locations. A statement from SIA, as cited by the outlet, noted that the “schedules are subject to changes” and that “all flights are subject to regulatory approvals.”

In a PYMNTS panel in May, American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) President and CEO Zane Kerby acknowledged that traffic has fallen off a cliff. But, when it comes to green shoots in talking with the country's travel advisers, he noted that “Q4 travel and particularly travel into 2021” is “very, very strong.”

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