US airlines focus efforts on demand from leisure travellers

    CAPA – Centre for Aviation, in a report entitled: ‘American and other US airlines switch energy to leisure passengers’, stated (15-Sep-2020) US airlines are experiencing huge levels of unpredictability in their business until the creation and wide distribution of a reliable COVID-19 vaccine. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have reported some improvements in demand, with Southwest stating it had experienced modest improvements in close in leisure demand and booking trends for Sep-2020, though revenue declines “remain significant” and passenger demand and booking trends are “inconsistent”. Delta Air Lines CFO Paul Jacobson said Delta has also witnessed “slight increases in the amount of travel”, especially leisure travel, but warned the carrier expects “ebbs and flows of the lows” and is “still well, well behind where we should be”. American Airlines SVP of network strategy Vasu Raja noted the carrier’s customer type is “changing” towards younger leisure travellers, as compared to its previous older demographic of customers “who flew us disproportionately for business”. Subsequently, American is pivoting its network towards more leisure markets in a “short term response” to demand, which is “not necessarily a long term reflection of what American Airlines might do”. [more – CAPA Analysis]