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Alaska Airlines reducing flight schedule by 70% due to coronavirus

The airline made the decision based on a drastic reduction of passengers and efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus nationwide.

SEATTLE — Alaska Airlines announced plans to reduce its flight schedule by approximately 70% for April and May following a decrease in passengers due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Flights for June and beyond will be based on demand, but the airline expects that reductions will be “substantial” for at least the next several months. 

“Alaska’s goal, since the onset of this outbreak, has been to keep our employees and guests safe and healthy, and to ensure that our airline is here to support and serve them in the future,” said Alaska CEO Brad Tilden. “But we also know that given the lack of demand for air travel and profound impact on the financial management of our business, hard work and aggressive control of costs and cash are required, even with additional support.” 

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Alaska Airlines CEO, President and other high-ranking officials will be taking a pay reduction through Sept. 30. Annual pay increases to employees have been suspended and hours have been cut back. 

The airline is also actively asking employees who are interested to take a voluntary leave of absence. Under this, employees would still have health and travel benefits still paid for by Alaska. 

Alaska and other airlines across the country are asking the federal government for an aid package of $50 million to assist passenger airlines impacted by a drastic decrease in travelers. 

The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is seeing the same drastic drop in travelers that individual airlines are seeing. 

Passengers coming through checkpoints have decreased significantly. For international flights, 321 are canceled for March and the airport expects 517 to be canceled in April.

You can check your Alaska Airlines flight status here.