A United Airlines plane is on the tarmac of San Francisco International Airport.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
United Airlines said on Friday that it plans to add a small number of flights in September, remaining cautious as the coronavirus pandemic continues to depress travel demand.
Chicago airline capacity in September will be 37% of previous year’s levels and up 4 percentage points from the August 2020 calendar.
United has been one of the most conservative airlines when it comes to restoring flights. An increase in demand stopped after coronavirus cases increased in the United States and states such as New York and New Jersey issued quarantine orders for arriving travelers.
“We continue to be realistic in our approach to reclaiming our national and international schedules, closely monitoring customer demand and flying where people want to go,” Patrick Quayle, vice president of network and international alliances, said in a statement. .
International capacity, which has been hardest hit by widespread travel restrictions around the world, will be 30% of the U.S. 2019 schedule for the United States, through the airline adding routes like Chicago to Tel Aviv, Chicago in Hong Kong and Houston in Amsterdam, among others.
Domestic flight will be 40% of its September 2019 schedule.
United said Thursday it will consolidate its short-haul Embraer E145 flights with a single regional partner, CommutAir, leaving the airline ExpressJet.
“We have been communicating for several months that we expect to be a smaller airline in response to the unprecedented impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our business,” United said in a statement. “In February, we took the first step to simplify the partner landscape and consolidate our E145 flight. We continue to evaluate new opportunities to improve the United Express product.”
Scott Kirby, director general of the United States, told CNBC earlier this month that he expects revenue to not reach more than half of 2019 levels without a coronavirus vaccine.