As demand continues to plummet, United will further scale back its domestic schedule by reducing frequencies on several routes, including once busy hub-to-hub routes.
Last week, United announced it would be reducing domestic U.S. and transborder Canadian flights by 42% overall. In fact, all service to Canada will be suspended effective April 1, 2020. But last night, United announced further cuts, which will result in a 52% overall cut in domestic traffic.
Combine this with United’s 95% cut in its international schedule and you have a 68% reduction in overall flight capacity.
> Read More: United Reinstates Longhaul International Flights
If you want to know how bad the situation is, take a look at what is United is running today. Let’s use United’s Newark Liberty hub as an example, though we are seeing similar cutbacks at other hubs as well.
How about hub-to-hub service to Chicago today? All but one flight are canceled.
To Houston? All but one flight are cancelled.
To Washington? All but one flight are cancelled.
Denver? Same story…all but one flight cancelled.
With few exceptions, passengers still traveling during this time are traveling point-to-point…the hub and spoke model is not ideal when demand is so low. Note the flight cancellations above represent today only; not all of these flights will necessarily be cancelled on a daily basis.
Looking at loads, even the already-dramatically reduced schedule is leaving flights going out mostly empty. Thus, I’d expect even more cuts ahead. People seem to be heeding the call to remain at home.