Airlines is just one of the many industries that the coronavirus pandemic has shaken up. The majority of Americans have now been directed to stay at home as much as possible, and to limit their travel, especially air travel, to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
United (UAL - Free Report) , Delta (DAL - Free Report) , and American (AAL - Free Report) expect to fly just a fraction of their domestic and international schedule over the next few months, while Southwest (LUV - Free Report) is cutting 1,500 of its 4,000 daily flights.
These schedule cuts also mean more grounded planes and less needed employees. Pilots, flight attendants, and other workers have either been furloughed or taken unpaid leave; some pilots have even accepted early retirement.
Major US airports now resemble ghost towns, and TSA has reduced the number of security checkpoints since so few people are currently flying. Airlines are also closing premium lounges and cutting back on amenities.
However, the need for cargo shipping has grown. American and other airlines are now flying cargo-only flights to help ship in-demand items like medical supplies.
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