How the Top 5 biggest airlines’ fleets changed due to coronavirus
Nevertheless, Southwest Airlines still operates a large scale: out of the total 742 aircraft it currently has, the Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) based airline parked 85 of them, including 31 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
3. United Airlines
One of the oldest airlines in the United States, United Airlines survived quite a few crises throughout its history. From the several oil price shocks to the slump following the events of September 11, 2001, United has remained strong and grew into one of the largest airlines in the world.
Nevertheless, even the big boys are forced to make adjustments. United cut its international schedule by 95% in April 2020 and the domestic network was reduced by 42%, as announced on March 20, and March 17, 2020, respectively. While the current situation is quite grim, the latest update by the airline on March 21, 2020, indicated that United will reinstate some international flights to help passengers get home, providing the airline with an opportunity to somewhat increase its cash flow during a difficult period.
Following the severe reductions in operated flights, United Airlines so far has parked 178 aircraft out of the total 800 currently in its fleet.
2. Delta Air Lines
Based in Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport (ATL), Delta Air Lines met 2020 with high hopes and expectations, as 2019 was a very successful year. The airline was not impacted by the 737 MAX groundings, as it had none on order, being the only airline out of the Big Four in the United States not to sign up for Boeing’s newest narrow-body.
But the Coronavirus outbreak has forced the airline to store quite a large number of aircraft in its fleet. Without including its affiliate partners in Delta Connection, the company stored 268 aircraft out of the 913 total in its fleet.
Moreover, Ed Bastian, Chief Executive Officer of the airline, stated in a memo to Delta’s employees that the company would accelerate the retirement of older aircraft, most notably the MD-88/90s and some of the Boeing 767s.
1. American Airlines
The largest airline in the world for quite a few years now, American Airlines was also forced into making swift changes to its operations during the crisis moment. Including its first cargo-only flight since 1984, when the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) based airline operated two Boeing 777-300 aircraft from DFW to Frankfurt Airport, Germany (FRA) on March 20, 2020. However, it also planned to ground a significant amount of aircraft: with a 75% international and a 20% cut in April and 30% in May in its domestic capacity, American Airlines so far parked 175 aircraft out of the total 947 in its fleet. In the near future, it plans to temporarily store around 450 of its jets, reported The Dallas Morning News.
Interestingly enough, American Airlines recently announced that it would increase the size of its fleet with 22 new Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2020 and 2021.
Boeing 737 MAX crisis: a difficult return to the skies (Part V)
The alleged money saving strategies used by Boeing have backfired massively. Not only the manufacturer lost, and continu...
How much do you know about fighter jets? [Quiz]
Since their invention at the end of the Second World War, fighter jets have become the backbone of every air force. To m...
Boeing 737 MAX crisis: Losing the narrative (Part IV)
As the Boeing 737 MAX hit its peak, it seems like Boeing has lost the narrative. How did the newest 737 family member, d...
Boeing 737 MAX crisis: Burned bridges (Part III)
As the Boeing 737 MAX groundings are set to continue, Boeing has burned many bridges with the crews, airlines and passen...
Boeing 737 MAX crisis: Ethiopian Airlines Crash (Part II)
It seemed like the Lion Air accident was a one-off occasion. As the skies in Renton cleared, tragedy struck once more an...