Southwest Airlines Cuts Flight Schedule By Over 40 Percent

Southwest Airlines has announced a new flight schedule for travel May 3 through June 5 in wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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The changes will reduce flight activity by more than 40 percent, limiting the low-cost carrier to approximately 2,000 flights per day. Southwest cited “significantly lower passenger demand, operational disruptions and the ongoing suspension of our international service” for the reduced capacity.

“During this time, we are maintaining passenger service to every city we serve, moving cargo around the country, and facilitating our customers’ essential travel between nearly every city-pair we previously offered,” the airline added. “Some journeys that had been nonstop might now require a same-plane stop or a connection. This scheduling change merely takes forward in time work that is removing roughly 1,500 flights a day from our current operation.”

Southwest added that affected customers would be notified of any changes and receive updates as well as be offered additional flexibility within the carrier’s existing policies amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The overall demand for travel remains fluid during this ongoing pandemic and we continue to evaluate further reductions,” Southwest said.

With travel demand down, the airline continues to offer discounted fares as low as $39 one-way.

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