United Airlines Drastically Reduces Flights To New York City

United Airlines has implemented a drastically reduced flight schedule at both LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International. As a result of severely reduced demand, the airline will be operating at just 10% of its usual capacity in New York.

United Airlines Aircraft at Newark Liberty International
United Airlines will be cutting its New York capacity by around 90%. Photo: Getty Images

Yesterday United Airlines announced a further reduction in to its services in and out of New York. With coronavirus deaths and infection rates increasing across the US, especially in New York, passenger demand is currently just a fraction of normal.

New York on lockdown

The epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic has shifted across the past three months. From China, where the outbreak began, the epicenter shifted to Italy, which has now suffered more than 15,000 deaths. Now, the US has arguably taken the mantle from Italy, with New York as the epicenter within the US.

Because of the situation in New York City and New York State as a whole, demand for flights into and out of New York’s three major airports is massively down. United Airlines’ new schedule reflects just how few people are flying compared to normal.

United Airlines John F. Kennedy Airport
United Airlines left John F. Kennedy International in 2015. Photo: Bjoertvedt via Wikimedia Commons

United Airlines no longer flies to New York John F. Kennedy International, but it has announced that services to LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International will be reduced by around 90% for at least three weeks.

As reported by NBC New York yesterday, United’s services at Newark Liberty International will be reduced to just 15 flights per day, down from a 139 per day under normal circumstances. This equates to just nine destinations, in comparison to 62. Meanwhile, United’s services at LaGuardia will be reduced to 2 flights per day, down from a normal offering of 18.

A message to employees from the COO

Yesterday, United’s Chief Operating Officer Greg Hart sent out a message to employees thanking them for their hard work during the ongoing lockdown across the US.

“You are on the front lines of this crisis at our airports and onboard out aircraft, providing an essential service to these communities and our customers,” Hart said.

While the number of employees required to keep the airline’s services running at the moment is just a fraction of what it would usually be, all United Airlines employees are still being paid. This is possible thanks to the $50 billion provided to US carriers under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed last week.

Newark Liberty International
Demand for flights has been decimated as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Ken Lund via Flickr

Helping medical volunteers

On Friday, United Airlines also announced it would be providing free round-trip flights for medical volunteers who are looking to help out in the fight against coronavirus in New York City.

United is providing the service in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Discussing the initiative, New York’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio, said, “This generous partnership with United Airlines will ensure medical professionals from across the country can come to New York City to help us in our hour of need.”

The airline also has plans to expand its offering of free flights for medical volunteers to the Tri-State region.