American Airlines halts Australian operation

Coronavirus temporarily impacts operation of Qantas' US counterpart

American Airlines has temporarily suspended its Los Angeles-Sydney service due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The American carrier’s final westbound flight returned to LAX on 18 March. Similarly, American Airlines halted its seasonal Los Angeles-Auckland service on 16 March, thereby ending the summer schedule 12 days earlier than planned.

The Los Angeles-Sydney service is one route American Airlines operates under a codeshare arrangement with Qantas. The service suspension will run for just over 50 days, with AA saying the popular transpacific trunk route will be inactive until at least 7 May, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also seen American Airlines suspend all flights to Asia, except for a thrice-weekly service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Tokyo Narita.

Following the Trump Administration’s mandate last week, American Airlines has also suspended flights between its North American hubs of New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles to London and Europe.

For more details on American Airlines’ schedule changes due to coronavirus, click here.

Fellow US carrier Hawaiian Airlines has paused its Oceania services, including Honolulu to Sydney and Brisbane, until late May, and Delta Air Lines has issued a change fee waiver for travel to, from or through Australia until 31 May 2020.

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz has also flagged temporary capacity cuts of 50% will occur on its operation in April and May, with routes to Australia likely to be in the firing line.

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