United Air, U.S. Leader Across Pacific, Pares Further in Asia

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(Bloomberg) -- United Airlines Holdings Inc., the biggest U.S. carrier on trans-Pacific routes, is paring more service to Asia as travel demand sinks because of the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The U.S. carrier is canceling flights from Los Angeles and Houston to Tokyo’s Narita airport from March 8 to April 24. Service from Chicago to Narita will be scrapped March 8 to March 27, the company said in an email Friday. United is also reducing the frequency of flights on routes such as Newark, New Jersey, to Narita, and San Francisco to Singapore and South Korea.

United is making the changes days after withdrawing its 2020 profit forecast, citing uncertainty over how the virus would spread. The carrier last week reported that it had lost almost all demand to China, which was hit first by the pathogen, and suffered a drop of about 75% in near-term demand on other trans-Pacific routes. United, American Airlines Group Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. have suspended flights to mainland China.

A Standard & Poor’s index of the five biggest U.S. airlines fell 2.4% at 10:14 a.m. in New York. That put the gauge on track for its worst weekly decline since 2008, during the last recession. United slipped 2.2% to $63.52

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