Alaska Airlines, although late to the party, has now announced a significant cut in the number of flights it will operate. The US airline will be cutting over 900 flights per day, accounting for around a 70% drop in its scheduled services.
Airlines the world over are cutting capacity and slashing routes. This is due to three reasons: a fall in demand, government travel restrictions, and to conserve cash at this difficult time. Alaska Airlines had seemed fairly reserved so far, announcing only minor flight cancellations. However, now the carrier has announced huge schedule cuts.
70% schedule cut
Alaska Airlines is due to cut around 70% of its schedule, according to reporting in Reuters today. The change will last throughout April and May and is largely a consequence of the huge drop in demand. Shrinking demand has been felt industry-wide, leading airline CEOs to label the current situation an unprecedented event, something they have never had to deal with before.
According to The Points Guy, the 70% drop in services will mean that around 910 flights per day are canceled. Alaska Airlines operates an average of around 1,300 flights per day under normal circumstances. Around 400 flights will still be operational for the time being, however, there could be further cuts made in the coming weeks.
Alaska Airlines has yet to decide on what the schedule for June onwards will entail. The airline says that this will depend on demand, which in turn will depend on how the situation plays out in the United States over the next few months.
CEO pay cut
Many airline CEOs have been taking pay cuts given the current economic situation faced by the airline industry. Examples include JetBlue’s CEO, who took a 20% pay cut and Qantas’ Alan Joyce. The latter won’t receive a salary for the remainder of the financial year.
Alaska Airlines will also be taking part in the CEO pay cut movement. The airline’s CEO and its President will both take a 100% reduction in their pay. In other words, a full pay cut. This allows funds to be freed up to pay workers lower down the corporate chain. The board of directors has also agreed to similar measures.
The measures don’t stop with the CEO’s pay, however. In fact, many different avenues are being explored in order to save cash. Management will have their hours cut down, with contractors and temporary workers being released.
It is unclear exactly how long the measures will be needed, as the situation continues to rapidly evolve. Just weeks ago nobody realized that the situation would get as bad as it has. Hopefully, for the sake of the industry and those employed by it, things will begin to turn around soon.
What do you make of Alaska Airlines’ flight cuts? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!