Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) announced Thursday it will continue to cap the number of passengers per flight until January as a means of attracting those cautious of the coronavirus pandemic.
The carrier had stated it was limiting capacity to 60% until September and would boost it to 75% later on, meanwhile keeping some middle seats blocked.
“Medical experts, including our own partners at Emory Healthcare, agree — more distance on board makes a difference,” Bill Lentsch, chief customer experience officer at Delta, said in a statement. “We believe that taking care of our customers and employees and restoring confidence in the safety of air travel is more important right now than filling up every seat on a plane.”
Simultaneously, JetBlue and Southwest have also opted to limit capacity while American and United have no limits established. The restriction comes amid the industry downturn, meaning that limiting seats is not as complicated to do compared to last summer’s booked out season.
“We’re now at a point where we’re probably going to pause any additional add-backs until we see demand take a step forward,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian, but added that Delta does not plan to pull back any flights either.
All U.S airlines demand passengers wear face masks while onboard, choosing to ban travelers who neglect to follow instructions. Furthermore aircraft sanitation has been increased with some even installing physical barriers within the airports.
Delta has cautioned over 2,500 pilots of likely furloughs as of October 1. The safety the federal coronavirus aid package offered ends the day before.