COVID-19: “choppy” recovery means downsizing US airline fleets

Premium Analysis

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe and immobilised the airline industry, a massive number of aircraft were suddenly grounded in response to the sharp and dramatic plummet in demand.

In the US, the number of grounded aircraft appears to have hit bottom in mid May-2020, just before an uptick in demand occurred as the country's high season began in Jun-2020. Similarly to demand, there has been some movement off the bottom in aircraft returning to service.

But with the surge of new COVID-19 cases in the US, and the country's larger airlines warning that they need to shrink their employee rosters in the coming months, the country's active fleet will remain well below pre-crisis levels for the foreseeable future.

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