United Airlines said travel demand is falling again, as COVID-19 hotspots break out across the US.The airline expects to warn tens of thousands of workers of impending furloughs and layoffs.United said it expects the airline industry to recover slowly, with demand rising and falling until there’s a vaccine for the coronavirus.Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Just as things were starting to improve for US airlines, the explosion of new coronavirus cases is set to send the industry back into a tail spin.Complicating matters are government travel restrictions and quarantine orders, which are making people nervous about booking flights.United Airlines told employees in a recent presentation that new bookings began to slide almost as soon as New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut said that they would require people coming from states with COVID-19 spikes to quarantine for 14 days. Specifically, reservations for near-term travel within the next 30 days began to plummet after steadily rebounding for months. The presentation, which was disclosed by United on Tuesday, was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.The fall was most severe at the airline’s New York City-area hub in Newark, New Jersey, where near-term net bookings were just 16% of the previous year’s levels — down from about a third shortly before the tri-state quarantine order was announced. The decrease in demand also coincides with when airlines are largely expected to begin notifying employees of furloughs and layoffs
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