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American Airlines cuts October flying capacity by 55%

Lucas Manfredi

American Airlines is cutting its flying capacity by 55% in October from the prior year as the coronavirus pandemic continues to weaken travel demand.

"We are responding to the continual decline in demand, and are evaluating our network to match that in the current environment," an airline spokesperson told FOX Business.

UNITED WARNS NEARLY 3,000 PILOTS COULD BE GROUNDED BY OCTOBER

The move comes on the heels of news that the airline will furlough or layoff approximately 19,000 employees in October following the expiration of federal aid allotted to the industry under the CARES Act. The furloughs will impact roughly 8,100 flight attendants and about 1,600 pilots if Congress is unable to reach an agreement on a new round of stimulus.

In addition, 23,500 employees accepted buyouts, retired early or took long-term leaves of absence earlier this year.

"We have worked to mitigate as many involuntary reductions as possible through voluntary programs," American said. "Across the mainline and regional carriers, more than 12,500 of our colleagues have made the difficult decision to leave the company permanently through early out programs or retirement. Another 11,000 team members have offered to be on a leave of absence in October."

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The company also announced earlier this month that it would suspend service to 15 U.S. cities starting Oct. 7.

The destinations include Del Rio, Texas; Dubuque, Iowa; Florence, South Carolina; Greenville, North Carolina; Huntington, West Virginia; Joplin, Missouri; Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Michigan; Lake Charles, Louisiana; New Haven, Connecticut; New Windsor, New York; Roswell, New Mexico; Sioux City, Iowa; Springfield, Illinois; Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

American estimated in July that flight capacity was expected to drop approximately 60% year-over-year as passenger demand has been significantly below 2019 levels.

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