Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed flight
United Airlines makes further cuts to flight schedules amid crisis
United Airlines announced further cuts to domestic and international flights Tuesday amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"United continues to aggressively manage the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on our employees, our customers and our business," the carrier said in a statement Tuesday evening.
"Due to a continued drop in travel demand as a result of this outbreak and government mandates or restrictions in place prohibiting travel, the airline today announced a 60 percent schedule reduction in April - this includes a 42 percent reduction across the U.S. and Canada and an 85 percent decrease in international flights," United added.
The airline said it will operate about 45 daily flights in April throughout the Pacific, Atlantic and Latin America, including daily flights out of Washington Dulles airport to London and out of New York/Newarj to Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Mumbai, New Delhi and Tel Aviv.
"While United does not plan to suspend service to any single U.S. city now - with the exception of Mammoth Lakes, CA - the airline is closely monitoring demand as well as changes in state and local curfews and government restrictions across the U.S. and will adjust its schedule accordingly throughout the month," United added.
The announcement comes as airlines, hit hard by travel restrictions and social distancing, have lobbied heavily for federal bailouts, which the Trump administration has pushed but which Senate Republicans appeared skeptical of Tuesday.
"When it comes to grants or bailouts for big companies, especially at this stage of the game or the phase three, there are going to be many of us who harken back to 2008 and won't be comfortable with that," Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said. "You're picking winners and losers, and it gets very complicated."