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Airline Industry Struggles Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

The airline industry has been one of the hardest-hit business sectors.
Posted at 3:43 PM, Apr 10, 2020

The airline industry has been one of the hardest-hit amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Air travel is down about 96%. U.S. airlines have been forced to cut more than 70% of their capacity, according to Airlines for America. The group says only 1 in 10 seats are filled on domestic flights and 1 in 5 seats are filled on international flights.

The Transportation Security Administration said on Wednesday fewer than 95,000 passengers passed through security checkpoints — 4% of the usual daily total.

The dramatic drop in travel has also spelled bad news for other major industry players. Boeing completely suspended its assembly of commercial aircrafts. Its last assembly factory still operating was suspended Wednesday.

Some major U.S. airlines, including American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta, JetBlue and Spirit, applied for government assistance to be able to keep paying employees. The government alloted $29 billion of its $2 trillion stimulus bill to airliners. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the department hopes to give airlines “preliminary information” on those aid applications in the next few days.