Due to a lack of demand attributed to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Alaska Airlines announced plans Wednesday to reduce its flight schedule for April and May by approximately 70 percent.
Alaska Airlines officials said demand has dropped by more than 80 percent as a result of social distancing and restricted travel, resulting in the carrier revealing flight schedules for June and beyond would be based on demand for at least the next several months.
“Alaska’s goal, since the onset of this outbreak, has been to keep our employees and guests safe and healthy, and to ensure that our airline is here to support and serve them in the future,” Alaska CEO Brad Tilden said in a statement. “But we also know that given the lack of demand for air travel and profound impact on the financial management of our business, hard work and aggressive control of costs and cash are required, even with additional support.”
As a way to offset the lost income, the airline announced both the CEO and President would take 100 percent pay cuts, the Horizon Air President would take a 50 percent cut, EVPs and SVPs would take 30 percent cuts and more.
In addition, Alaska Airlines is asking some employees to take voluntary leaves of absence, suspending annual pay increases, reducing hours for management employees and releasing contractors and temporary workers.
“We are ultimately optimistic about the future of our great airline,” Tilden continued. “But it is clear that we are and will be under severe financial pressure for the foreseeable future and that is why these actions are essential.”
The carrier got good news this week, as the airline industry is expected to receive a $58 billion bailout as part of the $2 trillion stimulus package designed to aid a domestic economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
Aviation officials are also hoping the bailout helps airlines avoid previously reported plans to completely shut down domestic air travel to curb the viral outbreak.
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