American Airlines is to trim its long-haul capacity by a quarter for summer 2021 over last year’s levels amid ongoing Covid-19 uncertainty.
The carrier also plans to exit 19 international routes from six US hubs after reported a second quarter pre-tax loss of $4.3 billion for the three months to June 30.
“These changes will allow the airline to reset its international network for future growth as demand returns,” American said.
“Passenger demand and load factors have improved since bottoming out in April, but continue to be significantly below 2019 levels.
“While May and June revenue trends were encouraging, demand has weakened somewhat during July as Covid-19 cases have increased and new travel restrictions have been put into place.
“The company will continue to match its forward capacity with observed bookings trends and presently expects its third quarter system capacity to be down approximately 60% year over year.”
American has bolstered its liquidity with a $4.75 billion government loan and announced a further $1.2 billion of committed financing in the third quarter of the year “collateralised by intellectual property and other assets” reportedly including its brand and airport slots.
More than 5,000 management and support staff jobs have been cut, representing 30% of the total, in addition to more than 41,000 opting for early retirement, reduced working hours of partially paid leave.
The carrier is removing more than 150 aircraft from its fleet to support cost savings.
Chairman and chief executive Doug Parker said: “This was one of the most challenging quarters in American’s history.
“Covid-19 and the resulting shutdown of the US economy have caused severe disruptions to global demand for air travel.
“In spite of these challenges, the American Airlines team has done a phenomenal job taking care of our customers and our fellow team members.
“We have moved swiftly to improve our liquidity, conserve cash and ensure customers are safe when they travel.
“There is much uncertainty ahead, but we remain confident we will emerge from this crisis more agile and more efficient than ever before.”