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Airline Division News, Week Ending July 25, 2020

The Federal Aviation Administration has given US airlines permission to remove passenger seats to make room for freight on cargo-only flights, entering a one-year regulatory exemption and extending until July 2021 a similar exemption allowing airlines to strap cargo into seats.

The rush for conversion slots to boost freighter capacity is heating up. On 22 July DHL signed an agreement with Boeing to convert four 767-300ERs into all-cargo configuration. United Airlines has confirmed the last three months have been the most difficult financial quarter in its 94-year history.

The carrier reported a net loss of $1.6 billion, and an adjusted net loss of $2.6 billion, for the three months to the end of June. Total operating revenues were down 87 per cent year-over-year, on an 87.8 per cent decrease in capacity year-over-year.

Total liquidity as of the close of business on Monday was approximately $15.2 billion.

New York posting enforcement teams is at airports to ensure that all out-of-state travelers complete the State Department of Health traveler form. Those who fail to complete the form could face a fine and mandatory quarantine.

 

Major airlines have asked for a joint coronavirus testing programme, so transatlantic travel may resume.

American Airlines and JetBlue Airways have formed an alliance, subject to regulatory review and approval, that will add and expand domestic and international options for travelers in the Northeast in an effort to accelerate airline recovery from the pandemic. The agreement proposes codesharing and linking loyalty programs.

Airlines are offering a variety of programs such as early retirement packages and leaves of absence to avoid furloughs. Most recently, Southwest Airlines said about 28% of its workforce opted for buyouts or leaves of absence, while Delta reported receiving early retirement bids from pilots.

The Transportation Security Administration screened 4.65 million people at airport checkpoints in the week that ended July 19, a 4% drop from the previous week and the first decrease since air travel began to slowly come back in April. Airline executives attribute the decrease to an uptick in coronavirus infections and quarantine measures adopted by some states.

Delta Air Lines has banned more than 100 passengers  from future flights for refusing to wear face coverings, CEO Ed Bastian revealed in an appearance on the Today show. "We've been steadily and rather aggressively stepping up our enforcement of the mask policy," he said.

 

Boeing’s currently grounded 737 MAX isn’t likely to be put back into widespread use among airline carriers until at least early next year amid additional delays in re-certifying the jets for commercial use.