Alaska Airlines will reduce its flight schedule for April and May by approximately 70%, following a massive decrease in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Seattle-based airline announced plans to reduce its flight schedule on Wednesday, after an "historic and unprecedented falloff in demand related to the COVID-19 outbreak across the U.S. and beyond," according to a news release.
The release states that the implementation of social distancing and travel restrictions resulted in Alaska Airlines seeing a reduction in demand of more than 80%. According to the release, flight schedules for June and beyond will be based on demand, but the airline expects reductions will be "substantial for at least the next several months."
"Alaska's goal, since the onset of this outbreak, has been to keep our employees and guests safe and healthy, and to ensure that our airline is here to support and serve them in the future," said Alaska CEO Brad Tilden, via release. "But we also know that given the lack of demand for air travel and profound impact on the financial management of our business, hard work and aggressive control of costs and cash are required, even with additional support."
No specific schedules for Fairbanks or other Alaska flights were released Wednesday.
Other actions being taken to reduce spending and improve liquidity include: a 100% pay reduction for both the CEO and president of Alaska Airlines through Sept. 30; pay reductions for officers; the suspension of annual pay increases; plans to reduce hours for management employees; and the release of contractors and temporary workers.
"We have drawn down $400 million on our line of credit and closed an additional secured loan for $425 million today," the release states. "We are actively soliciting employees who are interested in voluntary leaves of absence, under which Alaska would continue to pay both health and travel benefits."
According to the release, the airline has also "worked actively" with the White House, the Treasury Department, and Congress on an aid package that could total $50 billion for passenger airlines if it is passed.
Contact staff writer Alistair Gardiner at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.