American Airlines to cut international flights by 75 percent amid pandemic

American Airlines to cut international flights by 75 percent amid pandemic
© Greg Nash

American Airlines announced Saturday that it would cut the number of international flights out of the U.S. by 75 percent until May, some of the most drastic action taken yet by the airline industry amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The company will also reduce domestic flight capacity by about one-fifth, according to a statement on American Airlines's website.

"American Airlines...will implement a phased suspension of additional long-haul international flights from the U.S. starting on March 16," the company's statement read. "This suspension will last through May 6. This change is in response to decreased demand and changes to U.S. government travel restrictions due to coronavirus (COVID-19)."


"In addition to the international changes, the airline anticipates its domestic capacity in April will be reduced by 20% compared to last year and May’s domestic capacity will be reduced by 30% on a year over year basis," American Airlines continued.

A number of flights to Central and South America would continue to be offered, the company said in the statement, as would a handful of daily and semi-daily flights to London and Tokyo.

American Airlines's decision comes as the global coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 110,000 people globally, with hundreds of deaths being reported daily in Europe and other areas where the infection has yet to be controlled by health authorities.

Health officials have warned of the possibility of a larger outbreak in the U.S., while warning Americans to avoid restaurants, bars, public transportation and other crowded areas.