American Airlines warns of 25% drop in international capacity in 2021 summer

FILE PHOTO: American Airlines passenger planes crowd a runway where they are parked due to flight reductions made to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Tulsa International Airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S. March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo

(Reuters) - American Airlines AAL.O on Thursday forecast a 25% drop in its long-haul international summer capacity in 2021 over 2019, as the carrier curtails operations to cope with a slump in travel demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company will also discontinue several international routes that were once popular leisure destinations but are now expected to see decreased demand. (

“In an effort to match low demand resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, the airline will realign its network with the goal of improving long-term profitability,” the company said in a statement.

American said it would exit three trans-Atlantic routes from both Charlotte, North Carolina and Philadelphia as well as five underperforming routes from Los Angeles to destinations in Asia and South America.

The company on Wednesday warned it was overstaffed by about 8,000 flight attendants and that it might reduce its workforce to weather the hit from the pandemic.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty