Delta slashes flights by 40% as virus cripples global travel

Delta reduces flight capacity by 40% as coronavirus paralyzes world travel

Delta reduces flight capacity by 40% as coronavirus paralyzes world travel

The 40% cut in passenger-carrying capacity is the largest in Delta's history, surpassing reductions that were made after the September 2001 terror attacks.

Mr. Bastian said he will give up his salary for six months, joining other airline executives who have announced similar measures. The company also announced a hiring freeze and is now also offering unpaid voluntary licenses.

The news sent airline stocks tumbling. "The situation is fluid and is likely to get worse".

"The speed of decline in demand is unlike anything we've seen - and we've seen a lot in our business", said CEO Ed Bastian in a note to 90,000 Delta employees on Friday.

Delta also said it was holding discussions with the White House and Congress regarding financial support. "I am optimistic that we will receive their support", he said, adding that the airline "cannot put our airline in jeopardy while waiting for help from our government".

President Donald Trump, speaking in the Rose Garden almost four hours after Delta's announcement, said the government is willing to help the airlines but the companies haven't reached out for help.

The FAA announced on Wednesday that it is waiving minimum slot-use requirements at USA airports in order to support airlines cancelling flights due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

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Government leaders across the U.S.in cities like NY and Chicago have already banned large gatherings of more than 500 people. Major League Baseball will start two weeks later than planned and the UFC is holding events without fans in attendance.

The precarious situation facing US carriers is focusing attention on Washington, where Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the airlines were likely to need assistance due to their "short-term liquidity issue".

Airlines are "on the front lines of combating this public health crisis and are facing very real economic challenges as a result", Cruz spokeswoman Jessica Skaggs said in a statement.

Just over a week ago, airline CEOs who emerged from a White House meeting with Trump said they did not ask for help from Washington. "We'll be making more critical decisions on our response in days to come".

Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines announced fresh rounds of flight cutbacks soon after Trump announced the ban.

Unlike some of its competitors, including United and American, Delta says it is also eliminating all of its flights to continental Europe for the next 30 days (and that could still be extended). American Airlines is reducing its global capacity by 34 percent. If so, US citizens and lawful permanent residents must enter the USA through one of 11 approved airports.

The airline industry took an additional blow this week when President Donald Trump ordered temporary restrictions on travel to the US from the European Union.

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