ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Alaska Airlines announced Wednesday that it plans to make big changes - including reducing its flight schedule for April and May by about 70 percent following falloff in demand for flights - so that the company might conserve cash.
A release from the company said that flight schedules for June and beyond will be based on demand, but that it is the company's expectation that "reductions will be substantial for at least the next several months."
Alaska Air is seeing demand reductions of more than 80 percent, according to the same release.
"Alaska's goal, since the onset of this outbreak, has been to keep our employees and guests safe and healthy, and to ensure that our airline is here to support and serve them in the future," said Alaska CEO Brad Tilden in the company's release. "But we also know that given the lack of demand for air travel and profound impact on the financial management of our business, hard work and aggressive control of costs and cash are required, even with additional support."
To reduce spending and improve liquidity, actions taken include but are not limited to the suspension of the company's cash dividend and share repurchasing programs; officer pay reductions through Sept. 30 for staff including but not limited to the president and CEO of Alaska Air (100 percent), the president of Horizon Air (50 percent), and lower percentages for lower-tiered officers; active solicitation of employees interested in voluntary leaves of absence, in which Alaska Air would continue to pay health and travel benefits; suspending annual pay increases; and aggressively managing spending for aircraft, buildings, equipment, leases, services and other areas.
Under normal circumstances, Alaska Airlines and its regional partners fly about 47 million guests a year to more than 115 destinations, with an average of 1,300 daily flights across the United States and to Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica.
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