American Airlines has announced that it will resume its scheduled full-load flights from July 1,media reported. The policy is similar to that adopted by United Airlines, which, in fact, has never blocked seats or restricted the capacity of its flights, according to ABC News. According to United CEO Scott Kirby, he doubts whether there is a social distance on the plane, because even if the middle seat is empty, the passengers are less than 6 feet apart.
Passenger numbers have plummeted as the new crown-popular aviation industry has been hit hard. American Airlines passenger numbers reportedly fell by about 95 percent from their April low. Despite an increase in passenger bookings since then, the number of people passing through U.S. airports is still only a quarter of what they were a year ago. In addition, the airline has limited bookings to about 85 percent of aircraft capacity since April.
American Airlines says it has steps to help prevent the spread of the virus. If a passenger has been booked on a crowded flight, the company will notify them and allow them to choose to change the booking at no additional charge. At check-in, passengers will be asked to prove that they have not experienced symptoms of new coronary pneumonia in the past 14 days. Passengers can also change seats after boarding, subject to some restrictions. In addition, American Airlines is implementing other safety measures, such as more thorough cleaning, more frequent use of high-efficiency particulate air filters to clean the air and mandatory wearing masks for passengers.
While American Airlines and United continue to operate without capacity restrictions, other airlines will remain without capacity limits throughout the summer. Delta is expected to cap its main cabin seats at 60 per cent by September 30, 50 per cent in first class and 50 per cent outside the forest. Southwest Airlines canceled its mid-seating during the same period, and JetBlue canceled its mid-seat seating by the end of July.
The announcement comes at a time of rising cases of new pneumonia in the United States. Yesterday, the New Crown Pneumonia Tracker said the number of new cases in the country reached 42,000 after three consecutive days of recorded cases. According to Johns Hopkins University, while more tests explain part of the increase, the percentage of positive tests is also on the rise.
A spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American Airlines pilots, told the media: “Telling passengers that their plane will be full, I can’t think of a worse time.” He said the move could undermine public confidence in the company’s flight.