American Airlines slashing flying capacity by 55 percent in October

American Airlines slashing flying capacity by 55 percent in October
© Greg Nash

American Airlines will slash its flying capacity by 55 percent in October in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic's disruptions on the travel industry. 

The airline plans to operate at 45 percent of its October schedule, compared to last year, an American Airlines spokesperson told The Hill.

The airline is reducing its operations as demand for travel continues to slump due to the pandemic and a slower season approaches with summer vacations coming to an end, Bloomberg News reported. Since March, travel has fallen to less than a third of the level in 2019, according to Transportation Security Administration screenings. 

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American Airlines is adding more than 20 seasonal routes for customers seeking to travel to warmer climates as fall comes, including Miami, Phoenix and Mexico, the airline said in a statement. These flights will mostly occur on Saturdays.

American Airlines announced earlier this month that it was stopping flights to 15 U.S. cities starting on Oct. 7 without additional federal aid, an action other airlines might follow, Bloomberg News noted. 

Several airlines received federal assistance from the government by agreeing not to lay off any employees until Oct. 1. But talks for additional funding in Congress have stalled, leading airlines to prepare for massive job cuts. 

American Airlines said it expects to cut 19,000 jobs in October after the federal aid expiration date, following the announcements from Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines warning of thousands of layoffs.