American Airlines it to implement “a phased suspension of additional long-haul international flights from the US”, as airlines worldwide struggle to adjust capacity in the light of travel restrictions and plummeting demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week President Trump announced a ban on entry to the US for travellers who had been in any of the 26 countries within the Schengen border-free travel area within 14 days of travel. The ban will be extended to include the UK and Ireland from midnight Eastern Standard Time on Monday (0400 GMT on Tuesday).

AA said that it would reduce international capacity by 75 per cent year-on-year from tomorrow (March 16) until May 6. Domestic routes will fare better, with a planned reduction in capacity of 20 per cent in April compared with last year, and 30 per cent in May.

International route changes are as follows:

Asia, effective March 16

  • American will suspend all remaining flights to Asia, except for three flights per week from Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) to Tokyo Narita International (NRT)

Australia and New Zealand, effective March 16

  • Suspending service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Auckland (AKL) effective March 16, which was slated to end seasonal flying on March 28
  • Suspending service from LAX to Sydney (SYD) effective March 16

Europe, phased suspension

  • American will continue to operate one flight daily from DFW to London Heathrow (LHR) and Miami (MIA) to LHR
  • Suspending flights from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), and LAX to LHR gradually over the next seven days to reaccommodate passengers and crew
  • LHR, Dublin (DUB) and Manchester (MAN) flights from Charlotte (CLT), Philadelphia (PHL) and Phoenix (PHX) will be suspended faster, as these airports are not approved gateways by the US. Department of Homeland Security. Final eastbound flights from CLT, PHL and PHX will be on March 15; final westbound flights returning from LHR, DUB and MAN will depart March 16
  • Continued suspensions in other parts of Europe, as previously announced, including the delayed start of some seasonal routes as well as flights to and from Amsterdam (AMS), Barcelona (BCN), Frankfurt (FRA), Madrid (MAD) and Munich (MUC) Paris (CDG) and Zurich (ZRH) through early May, or later, based on guidance from the U.S. government and customer demand

South America, effective March 16

  • Suspending service from JFK and MIA to Rio de Janeiro (GIG) and Georgetown, Guyana (GEO)
  • Suspending service from DFW, JFK and MIA to São Paulo (GRU)
  • Suspending service from DFW and MIA to Santiago (SCL), Bogota (BOG), Guayaquil (GYE), Quito (UIO) and Lima (LIM)
  • Suspending service from MIA to Brasilia (BSB), Manaus (MAO), Barranquilla (BAQ), Cartagena (CTG), Cali (CLO), Medellin (MDE) and Pereira (PEI)

AA said it would also apply for slot waivers to give the carrier “temporary relief from this usage requirement”, to allow it to “better align capacity with demand without the risk of losing valuable takeoff and landing slots for the future”.

Read Business Traveller’s latest coverage of how coronavirus is impacting the aviation and hotel industry.