United Airlines coronavirus recovery has begun

United Airlines has begun the slow process of the coronavirus recovery by implementing an increased flight schedule in July. But, will the flights fill up? Flyers appear to slowly return to the skies, which is a positive indicator.

With a possible second wave of coronavirus outbreaks coming by next fall or winter, as mentioned by the WHO as well as the CDC, there is no predicting the future. However, United is doing what they know best, and that is running an airline. With the new and aggressive Scott Kirby at its helm, the airline is in the best position to handle the crisis.

Back in 2019 United’s outlook for 2020 was looking extremely good for growth. The coronavirus put a violent end to the rosy outlook. United, like all other airlines, went into a survival mode.

CNBC’s interview with United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby at the end of May 2020. YouTube/CNBC.

Systemwide flying

United will be increasing its systemwide flying from 10% of normal in June to 25% in July.

Equipment-wise, the airline is pulling several B757-200s (unknown number), B757-300s (unknown number), and B737-900s (about 50 of them) out of storage.

The demand for cargo operations has increased since the pandemic began. Some of United’s B787s will be utilized for freight operations.

United Domestic flights

Domestic flying in July will only be at 30% of what it was in July of 2019, a year ago. This is still a great improvement from last month. June of 2020 only experienced 13% of the flying that United did in 2019.

United is adding 140 flights, focusing on key cities such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Seattle.

Charleston, South Carolina is also seeing an uptick in flights.

There will be an increase in flying between Los Angeles (LAX) and Newark (EWR) in July. LAX-based B787s and EWR-based B757s/B767s will be doing the flying.

Flights are being added to Las Vegas. The city recently reopened for gambling, which opens up for leisure travel needs to the city.

United International flights

July 2020 will experience an international capacity of 25% compared to July a year ago.

Service to Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary will be added from the U.S.

Increased flying from San Francisco and Washington, D.C. will go to European destinations.

United will also restart service to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Seoul.

Expanded flying to the Caribbean and Latin America is also in the works.

October 1, 2020

It still remains to be seen what will happen with staffing once the employment conditions of the CARES Act expires on September 30th.

United’s CEO Scott Kirby has indicated that the company is doing everything it can to minimize furloughs and layoffs come October 1. The company will be in dialog with its many union groups to try to work out solutions favorable to the company as well as the employees.

However, one thing is still certain: the coronavirus fear and the resulting financial hit on people’s pocketbooks are still very much alive.

That will dictate how willing people are going to be to purchase tickets. An increased schedule does not do airline-revenue a favor unless passengers and demand for travel are present.

Is United Airlines plotting the best strategy towards a coronavirus recovery? You can let us know here.

Featured Image: A United B757-300. Provided to by John P.

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