Airline alliances call for government support amid coronavirus outbreak

Mar 16, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance — the three airline alliances — are calling on governments worldwide to “alleviate the unprecedented challenges” faced by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sign up for the daily TPG newsletter for the latest travel information

“The human and financial impact that the COVID-19 outbreak is having on the aviation industry is unprecedented,” SkyTeam CEO and Managing Director Kristin Colvile said in the statement.

“SkyTeam, with its alliance partners, and on behalf of member airlines, is urging all involved institutions and industry stakeholders to face these extraordinary times with exceptional measures. This includes action such as slot relief, airport and overflight fees reduction,” she added

Related reading: These are the global coronavirus travel restrictions by country

The three alliances represent 60 of the world’s largest airlines, including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines in the U.S. The alliances released a joint statement on March 16 asking regulators to suspend slot usage rules for the northern summer 2020 season, as the airlines cut back in service due to coronavirus. In 2003, regulators relaxed the slot rules during the SARS outbreak as well as in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The European Commission on March 10 agreed to suspend strict requirements regarding airport slots in the light of the coronavirus outbreak. However, the commissioner did not specify for how long the “use-it-or-lose-it” rule would be suspended. The statement praises regulators who have acted, but “urge others to follow suit promptly,” and requested that regulators consider extending the suspensions for the entire operating season.

Related reading: United to extend coronavirus-related capacity cuts into summer

Already United announced that it will slash capacity this spring, with cuts likely to extend into summer. American announced on March 14 that it planned to reduce international capacity by 75% year over year, from March 16 to May 6 and would suspend all remaining flights to Asia, except for three flights per week from Dallas (DFW) to Tokyo (NRT). Delta is cutting global capacity by at least 15% following a drop of more than a quarter in bookings worldwide

IATA has estimated up to $ 113 billion in revenue losses for global passenger airlines, the alliances said in the statement, but noted that figure didn’t include travel bans put in place by the U.S. and other countries. The United States last week announced that a ban on travel from Europe, including to the United Kingdom and Ireland. Denmark announced over the weekend that it would close its borders to foreigners for a month while Qatar announced it would also stop all commercial flights into Doha Airport (DOH) starting for two weeks.

Related reading: Coronavirus: Latest news and advice

Featured image courtesy of Zach Griff / The Points Guy

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.