United Airlines will cut down its flights schedule next month amid slowing demand from the global coronavirus outbreak, the carrier announced Wednesday.
United said it will cut its international flights scheduled for April by 20% and domestic flights in the U.S. and Canada by 10%. United executives reportedly expect the reduced service will carry into May. Additionally, United said hiring will be suspended through at least June 30, except for critical roles.
Trans-Pacific flights will make up about half of the planned 20% in cuts for April, with service to Europe and Latin America also affected. Domestic cuts will come from frequency reductions on most routes, but United will also suspend some service to cities that it serves from multiple hubs. The airline is also changing aircraft sizes on certain routes to adjust for the schedule reductions.
United has already grounded flights bound for China and Hong Kong until April 30, recently extending that suspension by about a week. It has also suspended some flights to Japan, Singapore, and Seoul.
United joins other major airlines forced to cut capacity as the global spread of COVID-19 sparked many to cancel or postpone travel plans. What originated in China has now spread to 83 countries, including Italy and Japan.
British Airways announced Monday it was canceling 12 flights from London's Heathrow to New York’s JFK airport, among other routes, due to low demand.