Airlines hunker down for fall with fewer flights and tougher passenger protocols as Covid-19 cases stall demand

American Airlines AAL -3.74% Group Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. LUV -2.30% said they were tempering expectations for an air-travel recovery, as mounting coronavirus cases have driven down bookings by as much as 80% in some parts of the U.S.

American, which has been flying twice as much as some of its rivals as part of a plan to capture summer demand, said Thursday that it will pare some flying. Southwest, which also maintained more flying this summer than United Airlines Holdings Inc. UAL -3.59% and Delta Air Lines Inc., DAL -2.06% said cancellations are picking up and demand looks weaker heading into fall.

Executives at American said bookings have started to slide and business travel, which usually picks up after Labor Day, shows no signs of resuming. “In short, the crisis continues,” Chief Executive Doug Parker said on a call to discuss results for the latest quarter.

Excerpt from WSJ
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