Hello and welcome to London Air Travel’s Atlantic Update providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America. The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 GMT.
Coronavirus In The US
The whole world is watching the progress of Coronavirus.
At the time of publication there are over 950 cases of Coronavirus in the US and 29 people have died.
This is expected to increase significantly, and if it does, the global economic impact could be significant. And if there’s one country that is ill-equipped to handle such an outbreak, it’s the US.
It’s a large country with freedom of movement between states. There is no national public health care service. Workers rights are limited, many employees receive very limited paid sick leave. There are also pockets of deep mistrust towards federal government and strong ideological objections to universal health care. Individual freedoms and rights take priority. Add to that a deeply partisan and toxic political culture where party loyalty trumps all else. And Donald Trump.
American Airlines has announced significant network wide changes in response to Coronavirus.
There are no route suspensions from London Heathrow. However, a number of seasonal and year-round transatlantic routes from mainland Europe have been suspended until early June. Full details of the network changes are available from American Airlines.
Delta has also announced capacity reductions of around 15-20% on transatlantic routes.
Norwegian has announced it is to cancel approximately 3,000 flights up to mid June 2020.
This represents approximately 15% of its network capacity. Some employees will also be temporarily laid off. Interestingly, Norwegian’s CEO Jacob Schram also calls for “the authorities to immediately implement measures to imminently reduce the financial burden on the airlines in order to protect crucial infrastructure and jobs”
Also of note this week:
A quick reminder that clocks in the US went back an hour last week, meaning that until the UK moves to BST, the time difference between the UK and the US East Coast is 4 hours.
Alaska Airlines marks one year of flights from Paine Field, Seattle. (Alaska Air)
American Express opens its latest Centurion lounge at Los Angeles International airport. (American Express)
“Why the US sucks at building public transit” (VICE)
Late post publication updates:
[Reserved for updates throughout the day]
The Federal Aviation Administration has relaxed “use it or lose it” slot rules at US airports such as New York JFK, New York LaGuardia, Ronald Reagan Washington National, Chicago O’Hare, Newark Liberty, Los Angeles International, and San Francisco International airports. (FAA)
Delta has announced significant reductions in frequencies to transatlantic flights. However, there are no changes to UK flights yet. (Delta)
As part of significant flight reductions by Lufthansa group airlines, Austrian Airlines has delayed the planned launch of Vienna – Boston Logan until 2 June 2020. SWISS has also postponed the launch of Zurich – Washington Dulles.
London Air Travel’s Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday at 06:00 GMT. If you have any comments, suggestions or tips then please drop us a line at mail [@] londonairtravel.com