Poll: Will the 2020 Thanksgiving Holidays mark a return to strong demand for US air travel?

Credit: Joe Pries

U.S. airlines are pushing ahead with plans to ramp up capacity this summer, as competition heats up over a modest rebound in domestic travel demand.

Some analysts, however, are wary that schedule growth may outpace gains in demand, particularly if confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to surge across the country.

American Airlines, which has been adding back flights at a faster pace than its peers, will keep capacity flat in August from July, when it plans to operate 55% of last year’s domestic schedule. Delta and United, on the other hand, are both trying to make up for lost ground; the former plans to reach between 55% and 60% of domestic capacity in August, while the latter is targeting 48%. Southwest Airlines, with almost no exposure to international flying, plans to hit 60-75% of year-ago flying levels in July, and flat capacity by year end.

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