American to slash domestic, international flights as coronavirus hurts demand

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American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.

Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images

American Airlines is slashing international and domestic flights as demand falls amid the coronavirus epidemic, the carrier said Tuesday. The Fort Worth-based airline is also suspending its full-year and quarterly financial forecasts.

The move follows similar measures announced last week by JetBlue and United. U.S. carriers had previously reduced flying to China, where the virus was first detected, and elsewhere in Asia, but its rapid spread has hurt demand for flying more broadly, prompting deeper and more generalized cuts.

American said it will shave 10% off its peak summer international flying, one of the clearest signs yet that airline executives expect the coronavirus’ impact on the business to last longer than expected. That includes a 55% cut to its trans-Pacific flying capacity as travel demand throughout Asia plummets. The virus originated in Wuhan, China in December and quickly spread throughout that country and to nearby South Korea, Singapore and Japan. 

It will also cut April domestic capacity by 7.5%. 

American, which had already suspended service to mainland China for several weeks, extended that to October. 

As part of its international cuts, American is temporarily suspending service to several European cities, including Rome, Milan, Barcelona, Venice, Paris and Madrid from various U.S. airports. It’s also cutting back on some of its South American service.

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