COVID 19: US airline economics will dictate unblocking middle seats
In a case of very unfortunate timing, some US airlines are rolling back, or adding more clarity to, their policies of blocking the middle seat on their aircraft just as the country’s COVID-19 cases continue their alarming climb.
American Airlines is drawing criticism from the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) for its decision, while United is arguing that blocking the middle seat does not create six feet of distance between passengers in any case.
The reality is that those airlines that continue blocking the middle seat cannot continue the practice indefinitely and bolster revenue. At some point all US operators will stop capping the number of seats they sell on aircraft as they work toward reaching break-even load factors (that now exceed 100%).
Become a CAPA Member to access Analysis Reports
Our Analysis Reports are only available to CAPA Members. CAPA Membership provides exclusive access to in-depth insights on the latest developments in the aviation and travel industry, developed by our team of dedicated analysts located in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
Each report offers a fresh perspective on the latest industry trends and is available online or via the CAPA mobile app, with customisable alerts to help you stay informed and identify new business opportunities.
CAPA Membership also provides access to our full suite of tools, including a tailored selection of more than 400 News Briefs every weekday and comprehensive data and analysis on thousands of companies around the world.