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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Airlines and Airplanes"

Trump Administration to Block Chinese Airlines From Flying to the U.S.

Westlake Legal Group 03chinaflights2-facebookJumbo Trump Administration to Block Chinese Airlines From Flying to the U.S. United States Politics and Government United Airlines Trump, Donald J Transportation Department (US) Politics and Government Embargoes and Sanctions Delta Air Lines Inc Coronavirus Reopenings Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Airlines and Airplanes

The Trump administration on Wednesday said it planned to block Chinese airlines from flying into or out of the United States starting on June 16, after the Chinese government effectively prevented U.S. airlines from resuming service between the countries.

The dispute stems from a March 26 decision by China’s aviation regulators that limited foreign carriers to one flight per week based on the flight schedules they had in place earlier that month. But all three American airlines that fly between China and the United States had stopped service to the country by then because of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the Chinese government had effectively banned them from flying there at all, even though airlines from that country continue to fly to American cities.

As ground zero of the pandemic, China was the first country to see aviation grind to a halt this year. In January, American and Chinese carriers operated about 325 weekly flights between the two countries. By mid-Feburary, only 20 remained, all of them run by Chinese airlines.

The March decision became a problem only in recent weeks, as Delta Air Lines and United Airlines had hoped to resume flights to China starting this month. Both carriers appealed to the Civil Aviation Authority of China, but did not receive a response. The U.S. also pressed Chinese officials to change their position during a call on May 14, arguing that the country was in violation of a 1980 agreement that governs flights between the two countries and aims to ensure that rules “equally apply to all domestic and foreign carriers” in both countries.

China’s aviation authority told American officials that it was considering amending its rule, but it has not said “definitively” when that might happen, the Transportation Department said in a statement. “In light of these facts, which present a situation in which the Chinese aviation authorities have authorized no U.S. carrier scheduled passenger operations between the United States and China, we conclude that these circumstances require the department’s action to restore a competitive balance.”

Tensions between the United States and China have escalated sharply in recent weeks as the countries scuffle over the origin of the pandemic and China’s recent move to tighten its authority over Hong Kong, a semiautonomous city. With the presidential election just five months away, President Trump and his campaign have taken a much tougher stand against China, blaming its government for allowing coronavirus to turn into a pandemic and wreck the American economy.

In mid-May, the Trump administration expanded restrictions on Huawei, the Chinese telecom firm, and blocked a government pension fund from investing in China. Last Friday, Mr. Trump announced that he was beginning the process of ending the American government’s special relationship with Hong Kong, and that his administration would place sanctions on officials responsible for Beijing’s rollback of liberties in the territory.


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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated June 2, 2020

    • Will protests set off a second viral wave of coronavirus?

      Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases. While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus. Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission.

    • How do we start exercising again without hurting ourselves after months of lockdown?

      Exercise researchers and physicians have some blunt advice for those of us aiming to return to regular exercise now: Start slowly and then rev up your workouts, also slowly. American adults tended to be about 12 percent less active after the stay-at-home mandates began in March than they were in January. But there are steps you can take to ease your way back into regular exercise safely. First, “start at no more than 50 percent of the exercise you were doing before Covid,” says Dr. Monica Rho, the chief of musculoskeletal medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. Thread in some preparatory squats, too, she advises. “When you haven’t been exercising, you lose muscle mass.” Expect some muscle twinges after these preliminary, post-lockdown sessions, especially a day or two later. But sudden or increasing pain during exercise is a clarion call to stop and return home.

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      More than 40 million people — the equivalent of 1 in 4 U.S. workers — have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic took hold. One in five who were working in February reported losing a job or being furloughed in March or the beginning of April, data from a Federal Reserve survey released on May 14 showed, and that pain was highly concentrated among low earners. Fully 39 percent of former workers living in a household earning $40,000 or less lost work, compared with 13 percent in those making more than $100,000, a Fed official said.

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.


“The Chinese government has continually violated its promises to us and so many other nations,” the president said at the time. “The world is now suffering as a result of the malfeasance of the Chinese government.”

Ana Swanson contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

As Passengers Disappeared, Airlines Filled Planes With Cargo

Most passenger planes today fly virtually empty, but when Virgin Atlantic flight VS251 landed at Heathrow Airport near London on a cloudy afternoon late last month, most of its 258 seats were occupied.

No one was violating social distancing recommendations, though. The seats, along with the plane’s belly, were loaded with medical supplies. That flight was one of nine that Virgin flew last month that used passenger planes — without any passengers — to transport ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical necessities between Shanghai and London.

It was one of the most vivid examples of how thoroughly the pandemic has muddled the economics of the industry. Airlines have long carried freight alongside passengers, but it never made sense to use their planes exclusively for cargo. That changed in March. As companies eliminated thousands of flights, cargo space became scarce and the price of sending goods by plane shot up, creating an economic case for repurposing idled passenger planes.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172023450_9a64de8a-9a3c-466a-ad85-90bd87b6c944-articleLarge As Passengers Disappeared, Airlines Filled Planes With Cargo Virgin Atlantic Airways Freight (Cargo) Deutsche Lufthansa AG Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Airlines and Airplanes
Credit…Tom Jamieson for The New York Times

“The cargo business is keeping aircraft, which would otherwise be parked, in the air and given us all more hope than otherwise that we will come out of this,” said Dominic Kennedy, the head of cargo operations for Virgin.

Before late March, Virgin had never used a passenger plane to make a cargo-only trip. Now, it is operating 90 flights a week, even as it makes deep cuts to its business. (Last month, Virgin’s founder, Richard Branson, even promised to mortgage his personal Caribbean island to help preserve jobs.)

Virgin is not alone in charting an uncertain path forward.

In the United States, each of the three largest airlines started running cargo-only flights in March. American Airlines had not flown an all-cargo trip in more than three decades. Now, it is flying 140 a week.

Even Germany’s Lufthansa, which has long operated a separate cargo-only business, has taken advantage of the opportunity by converting its Airbus A330 passenger planes so they can be used to transport goods. Last month, the airline made several trips using those retrofitted planes to carry medical goods from China to Frankfurt, including one from Shanghai.

Credit…Felix Schmitt for The New York Times
Credit…Felix Schmitt for The New York Times
Credit…Felix Schmitt for The New York Times

The goods that people and businesses ship by air change seasonally, but they are typically expensive, perishable, urgently needed or some combination of the above. They include items like smartphones, automotive parts, seafood, pharmaceuticals, mail, packages and even fast fashion blouses, shirts and other apparel. But a new category of goods has emerged in force in recent months: medical supplies.

Masks, gloves, ventilators and the like “caused peak demand and these absolutely high volumes, but that’s not saying that the other products or commodities went away,” said Harald Gloy, the chief operation officer of Lufthansa Cargo, the freight arm of the passenger airline.

Credit…Tom Jamieson for The New York Times

Under normal circumstances, about half of all airfreight is transported in cargo planes operated by companies like UPS, FedEx and DHL. The other half is typically carried in the bowels of planes below where passengers sit. But these are not normal times.

That gap between supply and demand — along with a boost from discounted jet fuel prices — caught the attention of airline executives.

“It is the bright spot for the industry because it is the only part that is operating and earning revenue at any scale,” Alexandre de Juniac, the head of the International Air Transport Association, told reporters late last month.

Credit…Felix Schmitt for The New York Times

Worldwide, the average price to ship a kilogram of cargo by air was $3.63 last month, a 65 percent rise from March, according to WorldACD, a data provider that compiles freight data from 70 member airlines. That figure was both the highest recorded and the largest monthly increase since at least January 2008, when WorldACD began collecting consistent, reliable worldwide data.

The price of freight from Asia soared, driven by demand for medical supplies produced in factories there, which have slowly come back online as the region emerges from lockdowns, according to WorldACD. But with the global economy battered, demand for goods could fall fast, and freight rates with them.

Until then, passenger airlines will keep offering cargo flights, and the IATA is urging governments globally to do more to help. In particular, the group called on government officials worldwide to expedite approval for all-cargo flights, to exempt flight crews from quarantine restrictions and to help airlines find facilities to process cargo and places for crews to rest.


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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated May 20, 2020

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      Over 38 million people have filed for unemployment since March. One in five who were working in February reported losing a job or being furloughed in March or the beginning of April, data from a Federal Reserve survey released on May 14 showed, and that pain was highly concentrated among low earners. Fully 39 percent of former workers living in a household earning $40,000 or less lost work, compared with 13 percent in those making more than $100,000, a Fed official said.

    • Is ‘Covid toe’ a symptom of the disease?

      There is an uptick in people reporting symptoms of chilblains, which are painful red or purple lesions that typically appear in the winter on fingers or toes. The lesions are emerging as yet another symptom of infection with the new coronavirus. Chilblains are caused by inflammation in small blood vessels in reaction to cold or damp conditions, but they are usually common in the coldest winter months. Federal health officials do not include toe lesions in the list of coronavirus symptoms, but some dermatologists are pushing for a change, saying so-called Covid toe should be sufficient grounds for testing.

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

    • How can I help?

      Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities.


In the United States, airlines have been slow to use plane cabins to transport cargo, as Lufthansa has done in some cases, because they were awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency last month outlined the steps carriers should take to use that space safely.

Credit…Felix Schmitt for The New York Times

At Lufthansa, each all-freight flight has three flight attendants on board, compared with the 15 typically needed to serve passengers. They are there to make sure the goods do not shift in flight or catch fire, Lufthansa’s Mr. Gloy said.

“In the lower deck, there’s a fire detection system in the compartment, which is not the same in a passenger cabin because usually there are passengers who do the observations,” he said.

Still, converting passenger planes to carry cargo on the fly is not easy, a lesson that Lufthansa learned the hard way. Decades ago, the carrier experimented with using a Boeing 737 to transport passengers by day and cargo by night, removing and replacing the seats each day, according to Mr. Gloy. Eventually, Lufthansa decided that the rigmarole of using planes for both purposes was not worth the effort.

“This was not sustainable from an economic standpoint, obviously, but also technically and operationally,” he said.

Credit…Felix Schmitt for The New York Times

These days, however, using passenger planes to ferry cargo makes sense and has offered a modicum of hope to airlines. Of course, the economic rationale for such flights might prove fleeting.

“The capacity crunch will, unfortunately, be a temporary problem,” said Mr. de Juniac, the air travel association chief. “The recession will likely hit air cargo at least as severely as it does the rest of the economy.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

What Flying This Summer Will Look Like

Westlake Legal Group what-flying-this-summer-will-look-like What Flying This Summer Will Look Like United Airlines Travel and Vacations transportation security administration Summer (Season) Southwest Airlines Company Shutdowns (Institutional) Memorial Day Delta Air Lines Inc Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) American Airlines airports Airport Security Airlines and Airplanes

Airports this Memorial Day weekend are likely to be far emptier than usual, but people who plan to travel can expect to encounter lots of changes and new inconveniences.

Take security. As travelers wait in line to be screened, they can expect to see signs and other markings reminding them to maintain their distance from one another, the Transportation Security Administration said on Thursday. The agents checking identification and boarding passes will be wearings masks, gloves and, in some cases, eye protection.

Passengers will also be asked to scan their own boarding passes to limit contagion, the agency said. And because food often triggers alarms, travelers will have to place meals they bring with them in a separate bin so agents don’t have to handle them.

“In the interest of T.S.A. frontline workers and traveler health, T.S.A. is committed to making prudent changes to our screening processes to limit physical contact and increase physical distance as much as possible,” David Pekoske, the agency’s administrator, said in a statement.

Most of the agency’s other rules will remain in place, but one will be relaxed: Passengers can now bring up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer, up from the standard three ounces.

Credit…David Zalubowski/Associated Press
Credit…Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Airlines have been adopting many changes, too.

Travelers who need to check a bag or print a ticket might find sneeze guards separating them from a ticketing agent, a precaution being taken in some locations by United Airlines and Delta Air Lines. If they opt to use a kiosk, passengers may interact with one that they don’t have to even touch.

In the airport, many shops, restaurants and airline lounges will most likely be closed.

Many airlines have adjusted the boarding process, with some loading planes back to front to limit contact among passengers and others are boarding fewer people at a time to limit crowding at the gate or on the jet bridge.

But while terminals may be largely empty, there’s no guarantee that the same will be true of flights.

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Most flights, about three out of four, are more than half empty. But despite a stark decline in the number of people traveling, a small fraction of flights — about one out of every 12 — is more than 70 percent full.

Airlines have taken different approaches to limit the number of people on board.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172571400_09831851-e7dd-46ac-88b8-14e657b50c13-articleLarge What Flying This Summer Will Look Like United Airlines Travel and Vacations transportation security administration Summer (Season) Southwest Airlines Company Shutdowns (Institutional) Memorial Day Delta Air Lines Inc Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) American Airlines airports Airport Security Airlines and Airplanes
Credit…Eleonore Sens/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

United said it would prevent middle seats from being purchased, though it might still assign them on fuller flights. It will also let customers rebook a flight if the one for which they are scheduled is more than 70 percent full. Delta said it would cap seating at 50 percent in first class and 60 percent elsewhere. American Airlines has said it will block half of all middle seats on its planes. And Southwest Airlines, which does not assign seats, has said it will leave about a third of its seats empty through July.

On board, most major airlines now require passengers and flight crews to wear face masks, though enforcement of that policy has been lackluster, according to some people who have flown in recent weeks. Food and beverage service has been restricted in many cases and, when available, meals are largely being replaced with snacks in sealed bags and boxes.


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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated May 20, 2020

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      Over 38 million people have filed for unemployment since March. One in five who were working in February reported losing a job or being furloughed in March or the beginning of April, data from a Federal Reserve survey released on May 14 showed, and that pain was highly concentrated among low earners. Fully 39 percent of former workers living in a household earning $40,000 or less lost work, compared with 13 percent in those making more than $100,000, a Fed official said.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • Is ‘Covid toe’ a symptom of the disease?

      There is an uptick in people reporting symptoms of chilblains, which are painful red or purple lesions that typically appear in the winter on fingers or toes. The lesions are emerging as yet another symptom of infection with the new coronavirus. Chilblains are caused by inflammation in small blood vessels in reaction to cold or damp conditions, but they are usually common in the coldest winter months. Federal health officials do not include toe lesions in the list of coronavirus symptoms, but some dermatologists are pushing for a change, saying so-called Covid toe should be sufficient grounds for testing.

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

    • How can I help?

      Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities.


Most airlines are cleaning planes regularly, sometimes between every flight, and offering passengers sanitizer, masks and other products to stay clean, too. Delta, for example, is sanitizing every flight using an “electrostatic sprayer,” which releases a mist of disinfectant.

United, which will start doing the same next month, said this week that it was teaming with Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic in an effort to ease passenger concerns. Clorox will advise the airline about its disinfection practices, and Cleveland Clinic experts will keep the airline up-to-date on the latest practices and technologies.

The various safety measures that airlines have put in place may reassure some, but most of the traveling public remains at home. As of Wednesday, the number of people screened at T.S.A. airport checkpoints was still more than 90 percent below last year’s levels.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

If Airlines Are Suffering, Why Are Some Planes So Full?

Westlake Legal Group merlin_172081026_545c3c9b-7c24-46a5-8c8e-9f86b299b0e1-facebookJumbo If Airlines Are Suffering, Why Are Some Planes So Full? United States United Airlines Southwest Airlines Company Delta Air Lines Inc Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) American Airlines Airlines for America Airlines and Airplanes

Just a few weeks ago, people were posting photos and stories on social media of virtually empty flights, relishing in personalized service and not having to worry about social-distancing.

Now, some travelers are complaining about the opposite, flying on planes that are surprisingly full. They are frustrated that airlines aren’t doing more to space people out or limit the number of passengers.

“This is the last time I’ll be flying again for a very long time,” he wrote, after posting a photograph of a full plane cabin.

On that flight, only 25 of the 166 available seats were empty, according to United. But the carrier said in a statement that the vast majority of its flights — 85 percent — were less than half full.

Starting next week through June, United said, it will “do our best” to notify customers about a day in advance if they are booked on a flight that is more than 70 percent full. Those with concerns can book a different flight or receive a travel credit.

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Dr. Weiss’s experience was unusual, but it wasn’t unique. Here’s why.

They were and they are. Usually.

In the past seven days, the largest airlines in the United States averaged just 23 passengers on each domestic flight, according to Airlines for America, an industry organization. For comparison, airlines were averaging 85 to 100 passengers in the first two months of the year.

Early in the pandemic, there was a glut of empty flights as airlines were surprised by how quickly people decided to cancel trips and forgo new bookings. Flight schedules are set weeks in advance and airlines didn’t know how many passengers would actually board planes.

Over time, however, airlines have slashed their schedules. United, for example, cut flights in May by about 90 percent. Delta Air Lines has cut 85 percent of its flights over the three months ending in June.

“That means that people who are on four individual flights are now on one — the single flight that remains,” said Robert Mann, an industry analyst and consultant.

That depends on the airlines — and the fine print.

“We’re automatically blocking middle seats to give you enough space on board,” United told customers in an email two weeks ago, a message Dr. Weiss referred to on his Twitter account.

But United has since clarified its policy. A customer may not be able to select a middle seat, but United could still assign them one. The company said that it cannot guarantee that customers will find themselves next to an empty seat.

By comparison, Delta has recently promised to cap seating at 50 percent of its capacity in first class and 60 percent for several other seating categories. That should help ensure plenty of empty seats on each flight.

American Airlines has said that it would block half of all middle seats on its planes. Southwest Airlines, which does not assign seats, has resisted making such pronouncements about middle seats, but has said that it would temporarily reduce how many passengers it books on every flight.

It’s easy to block middle seats or limit capacity when demand for air travel is very low, but airlines can’t afford to do so forever, at least not without raising prices.

If North American airlines were to impose social-distancing measures, airfares would have to increase an estimated 45 percent, from an average of $135 last year, to $195, according to the association.

“Eliminating the middle seat will raise costs,” Alexandre de Juniac, the association’s chief executive, said last week. “If that can be offset with higher fares, the era of affordable travel will come to an end.”

Most people are staying home, but tens of thousands still get on planes every day.

At airport security checkpoints on Sunday, the Transportation Security Administration screened about 8 percent of the 2.4 million people it processed on the same day last year — or about 200,000 travelers and airport and airline employees.

Many of those still flying are visiting loved ones who are ill. Some are traveling to be closer to family after months in isolation. Another group includes medical professionals like Dr. Weiss, who said he was part of a group of 25 nurses and doctors who had come to New York City to help hospitals struggling with an influx of coronavirus cases. And others are flying for work.

That was the case for David Chou, a health care executive from Kansas City, Mo., who took his first flight in months last week to Houston, where he had just accepted a new job. Mr. Chou was fortunate that there were only about a dozen passengers each on his United flights to and from Houston.

But he was disappointed to find that some of the people weren’t wearing masks, even though United now requires them. It wasn’t a major problem, but it did make him rethink whether he would fly again.

“If volume picks up and people are not practicing social-distancing or even wearing masks, I would be hesitant on taking additional flights,” he said.

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The Airline Business Is Terrible. It Will Probably Get Even Worse.

Westlake Legal Group the-airline-business-is-terrible-it-will-probably-get-even-worse The Airline Business Is Terrible. It Will Probably Get Even Worse. United States Politics and Government United States Economy United Airlines Travel and Vacations Southwest Airlines Company Layoffs and Job Reductions Labor and Jobs Delta Air Lines Inc Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (2020) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Business Travel American Airlines Airlines and Airplanes

Delta Air Lines started 2020 celebrating what it said was the most successful year in company history. Not long after, it shared a record $1.6 billion in profits with its 90,000 employees. But with air travel nearly shut down by the coronavirus, the airline is now bleeding money and will drop 10 more airports from its already skeletal network on Wednesday.

Even as Delta and the other major airlines in the United States dramatically slash schedules, they are averaging an anemic 23 passengers on each domestic flight and losing $350 million to $400 million a day as expenses like payroll, rent and aircraft maintenance far exceed the money they are bringing in. Passenger traffic is down about 94 percent and half of the industry’s 6,215 planes are parked at major airports and desert airstrips, according to Airlines for America, a trade group.

Yet, devastating as the downturn has been, the future is even more bleak. With much of the world closed for business, and no widely available vaccine in sight, it may be months, if not years, before airlines operate as many flights as they did before the crisis. Even when people start flying again, the industry could be transformed, much as it was after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. And airline executives need only look in the not-distant past to see how lesser crises sank carriers that were household names like Pan Am and Trans World Airlines.

The current crisis could push some airlines, especially smaller ones, into bankruptcy or make them takeover targets. Consumer fears about catching the virus on crowded planes could lead to reconfigured seating. Carriers may initially entice wary travelers with discounts, but if they can’t fill up flights, they may resort to raising ticket prices.

Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research Group, a travel analysis firm in San Francisco, said that carriers might continue to leave middle seats empty in coach “until they see demand exceed two-thirds of where it was before the pandemic.” Now, he said, “You can be benevolent. It’s easy to give away a product that you don’t have any demand for.”

To get through the next few months, airlines successfully lobbied for a huge federal rescue. But half of that money was intended to cover payroll and that will run out by the end of September. Few in the industry expect Congress or the public to tolerate another bailout. So, for now, airlines are preparing for a long, lonely fight for survival.

No amount of foresight could have prepared the industry for the pandemic.

Even Southwest Airlines, which reported its 47th consecutive year of profitability in January, expects to lose an average of $30 million to $35 million a day through June. American Airlines, the most indebted large company, is aiming to get its own losses down to $50 million a day by the end of next month. Delta and United Airlines, which were riding high after several profitable years, are prepared for a full year with virtually no passenger revenue.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172296210_aeaaac15-cc40-4f91-9e95-7cd389cbd43e-articleLarge The Airline Business Is Terrible. It Will Probably Get Even Worse. United States Politics and Government United States Economy United Airlines Travel and Vacations Southwest Airlines Company Layoffs and Job Reductions Labor and Jobs Delta Air Lines Inc Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (2020) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Business Travel American Airlines Airlines and Airplanes
Credit…Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

“It would be naïve to believe we or anyone for that matter can accurately predict the course of this crisis or the recovery,” J. Scott Kirby, United’s president and incoming chief executive, told investors this month. “When we say plan for the worst and hope for the best, however, we really mean it.”

To stem the bleeding, airlines have made deep cuts to every imaginable expense, closing dozens of airport lounges that were once considered critical to attracting well-heeled travelers like investment bankers, freezing hiring and bonuses, slashing advertising and technology budgets and postponing cabin renovations. American is taking its entire fleet of 34 Boeing 757s and nine Airbus A330-300s out of service years ahead of schedule. Southwest more than halved an order for the troubled Boeing 737 Max.

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And they’ve drastically cut their schedules, by as much 90 percent. Airlines could slash more flights, but have not for a multitude of reasons. Schedules are often set weeks in advance and many flight costs, including those for cabin crews and pilots, are fixed. In addition, the federal stimulus passed in March requires that airlines continue minimum service, and there are costs associated with parking aircraft, too. Still, even with few passengers, airlines are earning some money from the cargo they carry in the bellies of their planes.

Desperate to preserve cash, the airlines have also aggressively discouraged customers from seeking refunds, offering vouchers for future travel instead and attracting the ire of lawmakers. Legally, passengers are entitled to refunds for canceled flights and, at a hearing last week, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, described the practice of pushing vouchers instead as “misleading and sometimes deceptive.” Nicholas Calio, chief executive of the industry trade group Airlines for America, said that refunding all tickets could lead to bankruptcy.

The industry has leaned on employees for savings, too, getting more than 100,000 to voluntarily accept fewer hours, lower pay or early retirement. Payrolls have largely been spared the ax, for now, because Congress set aside $25 billion to pay workers through September as long as airlines refrain from imposing furloughs or pay cuts. But some airlines have already tested those limits, and executives have signaled that layoffs will come when those protections expire.

Southwest’s chief executive, Gary Kelly, last month warned employees that if a dramatic rebound doesn’t materialize by July, the airline could shrink. It wasn’t a prediction, he said in a recorded message, but a recognition that the timing of the recovery is out of the company’s hands.

“Our goal is to thrive,” he said. “The imperative here is to survive.”

There’s little indication that a recovery is coming soon. Most industry analysts and executives expect years to pass before airlines fly as many passengers as they did before the pandemic. Even then, a rebound may come in fits and starts, propelled by medical advancements, an economic rebound and shifts in the public’s tolerance for risk.

Take China, for example. The number of domestic flights there started to recover in mid-February, but plateaued in early March at just over 40 percent of levels before the outbreak, according to the International Air Transport Association, a global industry group.

Poll after poll has shown that the vast majority of people are likely to wait on the sidelines for quite some time. According to one recent survey by the Democracy Fund + U.C.L.A. Nationscape Project, 60 percent of people would “definitely or probably” not fly even if stay-at-home orders were lifted on the advice of public health officials.

“The airlines certainly need to get back into business but they’re going to be facing a public that’s going to be scared to travel,” Mr. Harteveldt said. “I think a lot of people all over the world are going to be wrestling with fear and trust.”

Business travel may recover sooner, at least according to a survey of the members of the Global Business Travel Association that found that a majority of travel managers expect trips to restart in the coming months. Yet Mr. Kelly, of Southwest, told the PBS NewsHour that work travel would probably be depressed for years.

With so much out of their hands, airlines have focused instead on what they can control.

Since early March, the industry has steadily escalated efforts to convince passengers that planes are not flying petri dishes. Last week, United and Delta started requiring masks for passengers. On Monday, American and Southwest will do the same.

On Thursday, Frontier Airlines became the first U.S. company to announce that it would turn away passengers or crew members with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher starting June 1. On Saturday, Airlines for America said its members, which include the major airlines, were calling on the federal government to take the temperatures of all travelers during the expanded security checks introduced after the Sept. 11 attacks.

That event was once the industry’s defining crisis, a shock so severe that it took years for passengers to return and fundamentally changed flying. The current pandemic could do the same.

“If you think about everything that came out of 9/11, with T.S.A. and Homeland Security and new public agencies, could there be a new public health agency coming out that requires a new passport to travel?” Delta’s chief executive, Ed Bastian, said last month, referring to the Transportation Security Administration. “I don’t know. But we’ll be on the forefront of all those advances.”

After spending the past decade consolidating, paying down debt, investing in planes and technology, and finding new ways to make money through fees and credit cards, the industry was in better shape than ever.

Now the airlines are triaging. Even as they slim down to preserve cash, they are finding ways to make what little money they can. Many have put otherwise unneeded planes to use transporting cargo, including medical supplies, taking advantage of a spike in freight prices.

And after passenger volumes fell in March and much of April, there are some signs that the industry has hit bottom. But there wasn’t much lower to go: The number of people screened by the T.S.A. in mid-April was down to about 4 percent of last year’s levels. By Friday, screenings were back up to about 8 percent.

But the good news doesn’t even amount to a glass half full. United’s Mr. Kirby said this month that the airline was seeing a spike in searches for 2021 spring break travel, more than it saw at this time last year. But those won’t turn into bookings until the virus “is sufficiently contained,” he warned.

And next spring is still almost a year away. The question is whether the industry can hang on.

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Boeing, Expecting a Long Slump, Will Cut 16,000 Jobs

Westlake Legal Group 29virus-markets-briefing-boeing-facebookJumbo Boeing, Expecting a Long Slump, Will Cut 16,000 Jobs washington state Shutdowns (Institutional) Layoffs and Job Reductions International Trade and World Market Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Company Reports Calhoun, David L Boeing Company Boeing 737 Max Groundings and Safety Concerns (2019) Airlines and Airplanes

The breathtaking slowdown in global aviation is taking a huge toll on Boeing, which said on Wednesday that it would slash about 16,000 jobs after reporting that revenue tumbled by 26 percent in the first three months of the year.

“The global pandemic has changed the way we live and work,” said Boeing’s chief executive, David L. Calhoun, in a note to staff. “It is changing our industry. We are facing utterly unexpected challenges.”

Airlines around the world are trying to stay alive, with losses expected to total more than $300 billion by year’s end, according to an industry trade group. As a result, many carriers are delaying purchases, deliveries and maintenance.

Boeing said it was slowing aircraft production, including for the troubled 737 Max, the 787, 777 and 777x. The company is also exploring ways to raise more capital, either from the federal government or financial markets. The job cuts, about 10 percent of Boeing’s staff, will be even steeper for those employed in the divisions most exposed to the downturn, the commercial airplanes and services businesses. Those units will see staff cuts of about 15 percent.

“I know this news is a blow during an already challenging time,” Mr. Calhoun said in the note. “I regret the impact this will have on many of you. I sincerely wish there were some other way.”

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Boeing reported a net loss of $641 million in the first quarter, compared to $2.1 billion profit a year earlier.

The company has said that it does not expect air travel to recover to levels reached before the pandemic for three years and that it would likely take several years more for travel to return to its previous long-term growth rate.

Boeing’s commercial aircraft business was especially hard hit in the first quarter by the grounding of the Max and the pandemic, with revenues for that business down nearly 50 percent to $6.2 billion in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. Total revenue dropped to $16.9 billion. The company received just 49 new orders and had 196 cancellations between January and March.

On Tuesday, Southwest Airlines said it has been negotiating a reduction in the number of 737 Max jets it will accept this year. Southwest said it would now receive no more than 48 Max jets by the end of 2021, instead of the 107 it had previously expected to take.

Boeing said it hopes to reach its job cut targets through voluntary means, including buyouts and early retirement offers. Employees who take the buyout will receive three months of health care and one week of pay for every year they have worked at Boeing, up to 26 years, the company told workers last week. Employees have until Monday to signal their interest in buyouts. If approved, they would leave in early June.

Any cuts are likely to be disproportionately focused on Boeing’s facilities in Washington State and South Carolina, home to its three major commercial aircraft manufacturing facilities. A weekslong shutdown of operations at those facilities disrupted production of passenger planes, but also affected Boeing’s defense and space business.

While Boeing itself is struggling to manage the effect of the pandemic, the company this week also expressed concern for the health of its suppliers, who receive about 70 percent of the company’s revenues.

“Currently, our team is focused on the best ways to keep liquidity flowing through our industry and to our supply chain until our customers are buying airplanes and related services again,” Mr. Calhoun told shareholders on Monday.

To that end, the company has taken out a loan, cut costs and suspended dividend payments and stock buybacks, he said. Boeing has $15.5 billion in cash on hand, but plans to raise more capital soon. In an interview on CNBC on Wednesday, Mr. Calhoun did not specify whether some of that would be in the form of federal aid.

On Wednesday, Boeing also said that it had suffered more than $2 billion in one-off costs in the first quarter.

A slower than expected ramp up in production of the 737 Max, which was grounded last year after two fatal crashes, subtracted about $1 billion from its bottom line. And the company incurred a pretax charge of $827 million for the KC-46A Tanker, most of it stemming from repairs Boeing agreed to make this month following discussions with the U.S. Air Force.

The company took a $336 million charge for repairs on the 737 Next Generation aircraft and the four-week suspension of work at Boeing’s facilities in Washington State cost the company about $137 million.

Over the weekend, Boeing also announced that it was terminating its $4.2 billion deal to buy an 80 percent stake of Embraer’s commercial jet business. Embraer is contesting that move and said Monday it had begun arbitration proceedings.

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Air France-KLM Gets €10 Billion Bailout as Coronavirus Hits Travel

Westlake Legal Group 25AIR01sub-facebookJumbo Air France-KLM Gets €10 Billion Bailout as Coronavirus Hits Travel Netherlands France Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Airlines and Airplanes AIR France-KLM

PARIS — France and the Netherlands will provide an unprecedented taxpayer-funded bailout of 10 billion euros, about $10.8 billion, to salvage Air France-KLM as the fallout of the coronavirus on the travel industry exacts a devastating toll on global air carriers.

Air France-KLM, one of Europe’s biggest airlines, will receive a €4 billion bank loan backed by the French state and a €3 billion direct government loan, Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance minister, said late Friday. The Dutch government said it would provide an additional €2 billion to €4 billion in public aid.

The aid infusion falls short of nationalizing the company, in which the French and Dutch states each own a 14 percent share. The European Commission — the executive branch of the European Union, which has thrown out restrictions on state support amid a deep economic downturn — swiftly approved the bailout.

It is the third multibillion-euro lifeline extended this past week by the French government to companies battered by the coronavirus.

The government is working on a €5 billion state-backed loan package for the flagship French automaker Renault, Mr. Le Maire said on Friday. Sales at Renault — which is part of the world’s biggest auto alliance, with Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors — have been hammered after quarantines closed dealerships and factories across Europe. The company had already been flagging in recent months as the arrest and subsequent escape of its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, from Japan in January took a toll on the group.

The state also backed a €500 million loan this past week for the French electronics retail giant FNAC-Darty, which employs tens of thousands in France, to help it secure cash flow and prepare for recovery after the pandemic.

Since the crisis hit, the French government has backed more than €20 billion in loans for 150,000 companies, part of a huge fiscal package to support the economy and limit mass joblessness until businesses can safely start operating again. The French economy is expected to contract by at least 8 percent this year, the sharpest drop since the end of World War II.

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Few industries have been dealt as sharp a blow as the airlines, as worldwide travel bans bring fleets to a standstill. The International Air Transport Association cautioned this week that European airlines would see demand drop 55 percent in 2020 compared with 2019, with potential totaling $89 billion.

Flights around Europe have slumped 90 percent, and most carriers don’t expect service to resume before June. The rollout of air traffic may depend on the introduction of government-mandated social distancing measures inside aircraft, the air transport association said.

The Trump administration reached a deal with major U.S. airlines this month over the terms of a $25 billion bailout to help the companies pay flight attendants, pilots and other employees.

Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and Southwest Airlines will participate in the bailout, which is part of an economic stabilization package that Congress passed last month.

European airlines were affected earlier than in the United States, after President Trump on March 12 shut America’s borders to most European travelers. While the travel ban helped slow the spread of the outbreak in the United States, European carriers have struggled to cope.

The German airline Lufthansa said on Thursday that it would require government bailouts after plummeting sales led to a loss of more than a billion euros in the first quarter, and investors are no longer willing to lend the company money. Passenger traffic has fallen to almost nothing, and the second quarter will be even worse, Lufthansa said in a statement.

Norwegian Air is seeking creditor support for a rescue plan that would convert up to $4.3 billion of debt into shares and raise new equity after it announced temporary layoffs last month of 7,300 employees, about 90 percent of its work force, and asked Norway’s government for help.

Air France, in which the government holds a 14 percent stake, put employees on part-time paid furlough for six months, complying with a government demand not to lay off workers. The carrier has lost about €25 million a day since then, pushing it into a critical financial state.

With almost all of the company’s planes grounded, the financial lifeline is needed “to save the 350,000 direct and indirect jobs that go with them,” Mr. Maire said.

Air France-KLM’s chief executive, Ben Smith, told pilots this month during a videoconference call that it would probably take two years to regain the level of traffic seen in 2019. The carrier, which hopes to gradually restore flights over the summer, warned recently that with absence of ticket sales, it would urgently need cash in the July-September quarter to stay afloat.

In a statement, the finance ministers of France and the Netherlands said they would “take all necessary measures” to help the carrier “overcome this severe pandemic crisis.” The loans to the company and fresh government money are aimed at preserving the carrier’s financial and operational situation, they said.

The support “is not a blank check” Mr. Le Maire said on Friday, adding that the governments had set profitability conditions on the carrier.

“It is the money of the French, therefore it is necessary that the company make an effort to be more profitable,” he said. The company will also be required to become “the most environmentally friendly company on the planet,” he added.

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Business Travel Has Stopped. No One Knows When It Will Come Back.

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Business travel worldwide has basically come to a standstill in the coronavirus pandemic.

When it will come back, and in what form, is anybody’s guess.

“Everyone will have to learn how to be comfortable around people, especially in large airports, on crowded planes, and in very large convention hotels and resorts,” said Henry Harteveldt, founder of Atmosphere Research Group, a travel analysis firm in San Francisco.

In a survey this month by the Global Business Travel Association, a trade group for corporate travel managers, nearly all its members said their employers had canceled or suspended all or most previously booked or planned international business travel, while 92 percent said all or most domestic business travel had been canceled or suspended.

“The current crisis,” said John Snyder, chief executive of BCD Travel, one of the largest travel management companies, “is like nothing we’ve ever seen before.”

The latest findings of STR, a lodging research company, were equally stunning: In the week that ended April 11, hotel occupancy in the United States was down 70 percent from the same week in 2019, to 21 percent, and hotels’ revenue per available room, the major barometer of profitability, was down 84 percent to $15.61.

These declines, said Jan Freitag, senior vice president of STR, are the “steepest” ever measured by the firm, whose data goes back to 1987.

About a third of the association’s corporate travel managers said they expected business travel to resume in the next two months, while about one-fifth said in three months. Another 16 percent didn’t even hazard a guess.

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A poll this month of 106 corporate travel managers who work for BCD clients found similar pessimism about any quick return, with a little over 40 percent saying they expected business travel to return to former levels this year. Another 10 percent predicted that it would not fully return until at least 2022, while 3 percent said it would never return.

“Business travel won’t come back before we hear from public health officials that it’s safe to travel,” Mr. Harteveldt said. “Once we hit the point where the virus is contained and, hopefully, treatment is available, I believe business travel will start to resume, assuming the economy hasn’t gone into a deep recession or, worse, a depression.”

And regardless of timing, experts anticipate both short- and long-term changes in business travel.

Airlines including American, Delta and Lufthansa are already blocking middle seats on flights, said Michael Derchin, an airline analyst, although that’s easy to do when planes are flying with a lot of empty seats.

He predicted that after stay-at-home orders are lifted, airlines “will do a lot of soul-searching about what the nature of travel will be going forward.” They may even re-evaluate how they seat passengers to provide more space, if social distancing becomes the “new normal,” he said.

Paul Metselaar, chief executive of Ovation Travel Group, a corporate travel agency in New York, said he anticipated that carriers would offer “discounts like you’ve never seen before, since they will be desperate to get people back on planes.”

And expect efforts to promote cleanliness.

In late March, Delta announced that it was extending to all aircraft a cleaning process previously used on international planes: a nightly “fogging” program, which involves spraying high-grade disinfectant, effective against communicable diseases. It will fog planes before every flight by early May, it said. It is also disinfecting high-touch areas like tray tables, armrests and seat-back pockets before every flight.

As to hotels, Mr. Freitag of STR wrote in an article this month, “Brands and hotels will need to convince the travelers that have not yet been infected that their hotels are safe spaces.” He added that hotel operators would have to “come up with new and novel ways to communicate to guests that the surfaces, door handles, phone receivers and toilet seats are clean and free from the virus.”

Mr. Freitag said in the article that his firm was predicting that revenue per available room this year would be down 50 percent from last year, “with a sharp rebound” of 63 percent in 2021. “These numbers are in flux, but the tenor of the prognostications is clear: This is temporary disruption. Severe, yes. Deadly, yes. But nonetheless temporary. With that in mind, it is not too hard to imagine recovery scenarios that will point at prolonged, slowed growth for the U.S. hotel industry.”

The recovery of the airline industry may have a different trajectory.

Helane Becker, who follows U.S. airlines for the financial services company Cowen, said she believed it could take two to five years for traffic to return to “some level we could call normal.” She expects corporate travel will bounce back before leisure travel, “since leisure travelers don’t have the money to travel at any price.” But, she added, corporate travel may never “fully recover.”

Mr. Harteveldt said the recovery of the air travel system could be spotty, especially if travelers were fearful of visiting current virus hot spots like New York, or going through hub airports there.

He predicted that airline service could initially be reinstated piecemeal, determined by health conditions in each state or country. And he anticipated that carriers would rebuild their systems “at a lower level of operation” that could last six to 18 months.

Mr. Derchin said he thought that the airlines’ current cash crunch would speed up their retirement of older, less fuel-efficient airplanes. American has already said it was accelerating retirement of those planes, as have Lufthansa, KLM and Virgin Atlantic.

Evan Konwiser, executive vice president of product and strategy for American Express Global Business Travel, another large travel management company, predicted that new procedures could be tacked onto existing airport security measures, including the taking of passengers’ temperature before departure or upon arrival.

Mr. Snyder said he expected that BCD’s corporate customers would put even more emphasis on risk management and the well-being of their travelers.

The travel experts also said the pandemic would affect meeting and convention travel, which they said would probably come back after individual business travel.

One of the biggest unknowns is the possible long-term impact of the current widespread use of videoconferencing tools, like GoToMeeting, Webex and Zoom.

Mr. Derchin, for one, said the longer “we have the quarantine,” the more people who hadn’t used such tools previously “will get used to it.”

That, he said, could lead to a possible decline in the growth of international business travel — particularly to large hubs like London, Paris, Frankfurt, Miami, Los Angeles and Tokyo — and thus in demand for wide-body aircraft.

Mr. Snyder said that although companies would take a closer look at virtual meetings, “the value of in-person meetings can’t be replaced by technology.”

Mr. Konwiser predicted that conferences for a mix of virtual and in-person attendees could become more popular.

“People will still need to network, learn, build relationships,” he said. “None of this will change. There will probably be less density and more hand sanitizer.”

But Mr. Harteveldt said he did not expect videoconferencing to replace business travel.

“People are social animals,” he said. “A lot of businesspeople enjoy traveling. I suspect their spouses also can’t wait for them to get back on the road.”

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Who Owes You a Refund? Should You Even Ask?

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Among the financially unlucky right now, one question reigns supreme: Which bills can I simply not pay and for how long?

A second is right behind it, and perhaps even more fraught: Who ought to give me my money back?

Millions of people are wondering about refunds from airlines, concert venues and tuition-charging institutions that are not in session in any normal sort of way. For the 22 million people and counting who have filed for unemployment benefits, it is probably a simple matter: You take absolutely everything back that you possibly can. Ditto for those who face a large imminent decline in income.

But for consumers who are not yet desperate, it quickly gets complicated.

Some companies that already have your money are not very sympathetic. Take airlines, or leave them if only you could.

Some of the large carriers are of strategic importance to the economy, and this week they received their bailout. Yet even as they knew that they would almost certainly get their hands on our tax money, many held customers’ money hostage. Their behavior was so entitled that the Department of Transportation felt compelled to issue an enforcement notice, which demanded that they offer a “prompt refund” when they cancel a flight or make a significant schedule change and the passenger isn’t willing to accept it.

Then there’s Ticketmaster, a long-reviled company that put itself back in consumers’ cross hairs by making it look like they could get their money back only if shows were canceled instead of postponed. The company now says that it was all a big misunderstanding and that most people can get their money in a month or two.

That certainly sounds slow, but the company makes a reasonable point about how complicated it is to offer refunds: Ticketmaster says it has already forwarded most of what customers paid to the entities that would put on the events.

Other companies’ policies underscore different complications. Consider the vacation rental site Vrbo, which relies equally on the hosts who make properties available and the guests who rent them. It split things down the middle, asking guests to accept as little as 50 percent back from hosts, if they could not find alternate dates, for stays between March 13 and April 30.

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That policy hardly seems right — or good for public health — when you may feel pressure to keep your reservation because you can’t get a full refund. Vrbo doesn’t see it that way.

“While we know our emergency policy isn’t perfect, we feel it was the fairest way to handle an impossible situation,” a company spokeswoman, Melanie Fish, said in an email. For every affected traveler, the company says, there is someone else relying on the terms of a cancellation policy to pay mortgages and employees. (Many hosts, Ms. Fish added, offered more than 50 percent back or a credit toward a future stay.)

The policy, though, still rings a bit hollow. Vrbo seems to want consumers to treat all hosts as struggling entrepreneurs. For some, the rental property may be their only source of income — and the company’s policy works reasonably well for them. But many other hosts are making extra money off the second home that they could already afford.

No traveler who is struggling wants to be on the hook for the income stream of someone else who owns a spare property somewhere pretty. If a refund is on offer, don’t feel bad taking it if you can’t make a trip or now don’t think it’s wise. (Airbnb, for what it’s worth, refunded all money to travelers in similar situations.)

Then there are more painful choices.

For some businesses — like summer camps, day care centers and after-school programs — your decision on whether to seek a refund will be crucial. And if you don’t get a refund, you’re taking a risk: If these establishments go under before you’ve used whatever credit they’ve offered you, you’re not going to get a cent unless you line up in bankruptcy court with the other creditors.

A note arrived recently in the inboxes of parents planning to send their children to French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, a camp in New York’s Catskill Mountains. It said families would receive a nonrefundable credit toward camp in 2021 if the state kept the camp from opening or if it opened late and families couldn’t attend a later session. It also mentioned the possibility that some insurance would kick in and provide partial refunds.

In the normal course of events, many people do not like to hear the word “nonrefundable” when an entity seems to want to hold on to thousands of your dollars and then wait a year to give you the service that you paid for, when you may not want or need it anymore. And how are you supposed to pay for alternative programming or care this summer in the meantime? That was the opinion of the parent who sent the note my way.

When I spoke to Ron Schaefer, the founder of French Woods, he expressed exasperation at first. The camp’s intent, he said, is to give refunds to any family that wants one, once it has funds available. Cash flow is tricky for camps, especially right now, when they’re spending money to prepare for an opening that may not happen.

Mr. Schaefer, who has been at this in one form or another for over 50 years, then answered the question that I hadn’t really wanted to ask: How many refund requests would put French Woods out of business if it didn’t operate at all this summer? He said that if 70 percent or 80 percent of families requested a refund — and some already have — that would probably do it.

Even among similar types of businesses, the figure will be different. Nonprofit camps with large endowments or big umbrella organizations may be fine if even more request refunds. The not-much-profit camps that are run on a shoestring by a debt-laden sole owner may not survive if they have to give back even half of what parents have paid.

Lawyers are already involved. An association of Maine camps put two to work recently on providing refund information to worried directors. It ended on a note of some eloquence — searching and perhaps a bit pleading.

“The established culture of the Covid-19 pandemic,” they wrote, “seems to be to do no further economic harm.”

Indeed, this is what it comes down to for so many people: Whose harm matters more or is most imminent? Every refund request means weighing your household’s economic uncertainty against the perhaps equally precarious status of any given person or place that has your money but can’t deliver on all its promises.

People are or may soon come under pressure to become bankers of sorts, offering no-interest loans of a year or longer to French Woods and other beloved (or less beloved) billers. Most everyone then becomes a loan officer, deciding who will have the best shot at still being open next fall, next spring and in the summer of 2021.

There is no rule book for these decisions, only a question.

Once upon a time, weeks ago when so much felt so different, these entities had value to you. Would you lose more from their absence in the coming years than you’d risk by helping, if you can, at this strange, confounding moment?

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Treasury and Airlines Agree on Terms of Industry Bailout

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WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has reached an agreement in principle with major airlines over the terms of a $25 billion bailout to prop up an industry that has been hobbled by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Treasury Department said that Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and Southwest Airlines would participate. The program is supposed to help the companies pay their workers and was created as part of the economic stabilization package that Congress passed last month.

“We welcome the news that a number of major airlines intend to participate in the Payroll Support Program,” the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said in a statement. “This is an important CARES Act program that will support American workers and help preserve the strategic importance of the airline industry while allowing for appropriate compensation to the taxpayers.”

Last week, the Treasury Department said it would not require airlines that receive up to $100 million in bailout money to give the government equity stakes or other compensation. The government had received over 200 applications from U.S. airlines seeking payroll support and the Treasury said the majority of those were asking for less than $10 million.

Over the weekend, Mr. Mnuchin negotiated with the larger airlines, which have applied for most of the government funds. The Treasury had been pushing the airlines to agree to repay 30 percent of the money over five years. Airline executives and labor leaders complained that the Trump administration was turning what Congress intended to be grants into loans. The Treasury also has been seeking warrants to buy stock in the companies that take money.

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Airlines for America, an industry lobbying group, said that as of April 9, American airline carriers had idled 2,200 aircraft and that passenger volume was down 95 percent from a year ago. The industry expects global passenger revenues to fall by $314 billion this year, a 55 percent decline from last year.

The stimulus, passed late last month, largely incorporated the assistance that the industry had sought, including $50 billion split evenly in grants and loans for passenger airlines and more than $10 billion for cargo airlines and aviation contractors. But the aid came with some strings, including giving Mr. Mnuchin the authority to take an equity stake in airlines that receive the grants.

The Treasury Department determined 70 percent of the grants to airlines would benefit taxpayers through payroll and income tax receipts and by reducing the unemployment insurance payments that the government would have paid to airline workers had they lost their jobs. The remaining 30 percent would not directly benefit taxpayers, and therefore would be repaid as a loan over a period of 10 years, a senior Treasury official said on Tuesday.

The Treasury will also receive stock warrants worth 10 percent of the loan amount that exceeds $100 million.

The official said that the structure of the agreement was a carefully negotiated compromise, as airlines were seeking grants with no repayment and the administration preferred to offer loans. The economic relief legislation also allocated a separate $25 billion specifically for loans to the airlines, but the official said that negotiations with the companies for those funds had not begun. The Treasury is also engaged in negotiations with cargo carriers, which are eligible for $8 billion in grants and loans.

The Treasury has not determined if it will need to ask Congress for additional funds to support the airline industry, the official said.

Airlines that accept the payroll support money are prohibited from major staffing or pay cuts through September. The airlines must also refrain from buying back shares or paying dividends through September 2021 and must agree to limits on executive pay until late March 2022.

In a statement, Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants union, welcomed the payout as “an unprecedented accomplishment,” but criticized Mr. Mnuchin for delaying the aid and for asking that airlines repay a portion of the funds.

“Now we must fight to keep aviation intact to protect our industry and ensure our economy lifts off again when the virus is under control,” she said. “We have seen what happens when investment bankers like Secretary Mnuchin control the outcomes, and we will not stand by to watch it play out again.”

American Airlines said it would receive $5.8 billion as part of the deal, with more than $4 billion in the form of grants and the remaining $1.7 billion as a low-interest loan. The airline separately plans to apply for a nearly $4.8 billion loan from the department under the loan provision of the legislation.

“The Payroll Support Program recognizes the extraordinary dedication of our entire team, and importantly, sustains the critical air service being provided by our front-line team members,” American’s chief executive, Doug Parker, said in a statement.

Southwest Airlines said it expected to receive $3.2 billion, about $1 billion of which would come in the form of a low-interest loan. That loan is expected to include about 2.6 million warrants that would allow Treasury to buy stock in the company.

United Airlines and Alaska Airlines said they expected to complete their agreements with the Treasury Department over the next few days. A Delta spokeswoman declined to comment.

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