American Airlines is curbing its flights for the next month or so in response to the deadly coronavirus, which has been exacerbated by international travel in recent weeks, according to a press release.
The flight company said the changes were intended to acclimate to the lower demand for flights in the U.S. as well as travel restrictions imposed to try and stave off the virus’s spread.
The airline will reduce international capacity by 75 percent year over year from Monday (March 16) through May 6.
American Airlines will reduce flights from Dallas-Fort Worth to London down to once per day, as well as only once-daily from Miami to London. There will only be three flights per week between Dallas-Fort Worth and Tokyo.
Short-haul international flights will continue, including to Canada and Mexico, along with the Caribbean, Central America and some parts of South America.
American Airlines is also expecting its domestic capacity in April to sink by 20 percent compared to last year. May’s domestic capacity will likely be reduced by 30 percent, the airline reported.
The press release detailed other changes American Airlines plans to make to its services, including cancellations of all Asia-based flights except for those to and from Tokyo, and numerous other suspensions slated to start in March.
The capacity reductions are to ensure that the slot waivers don’t entail others beyond what had already been given out, the press release states, as with the decreased demand, the airline has requested to be exempt from rules about slot waivers that give planes the right to take off and land at specific times. Now, the change in circumstance necessitates that airlines not have to worry about losing valuable takeoff times in the future.
American Airlines will also waive change fees for customers who purchased tickets to fly to Europe prior to March 15, including to the U.K. and Ireland, through May 31.