United is offering some pilots the month of April off at reduced pay as a result of cuts in flights to Asia. These select pilots are being offered the pay they would receive for working 50 hours that month.
At the time of writing, Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has infected over 86,000, with nearly 3,000 deaths. The first death in the United States occurred earlier this week in Washington State. The virus threatens to harm the aviation industry at a level not seen since 9/11, with airlines cutting flights to Asia and elsewhere amid fears of spreading the virus.
At the time of writing, United's stock price is down 5.16%. The month off is offered to select wide-body pilots as the airline is suspending flights to China and Japan. United stated that demand for flights to China is almost nonexistent, while demand for other trans-pacific routes fell by 75%. In a union memo sent on Friday, Todd Insler, Chairman of the United branch of the Air Line Pilots Association, wrote "we are preparing for the possibility of further reductions to our schedules as the virus spreads." It is currently unclear exactly how long these restrictions will be in place, but we know that they are currently scheduled to end on April 30. If the virus has not been contained these restrictions will likely be extended.
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