07:13 GMT29 March 2020
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    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (445)
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    United Airlines announced Monday afternoon that it will be reducing its international schedule by 20% and domestic schedule by 10% in April amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

    Citing a "decline in demand flowing from the impact of COVID-19," the US airline also revealed in its news release that it will also waive flight change fees for both international and domestic bookings made between March 3 and March 31. 

    Schedule changes are slated to go public on March 7 and will be followed by "similar reductions in May" across the board. 

    Regarding employment, United will also suspend hiring new employees through June 30, "except for roles that are critical to our operation." The airliner did not expound on what the criteria may be.

    Additionally, salary increases for employees holding management and administrative positions will be postponed.  

    "We remain in close contract with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [(CDC)], the World Health Organization, federal officials and other health organizations as we take a variety of steps to keep our customers and employees safe," the release read. 

    Earlier this week the Association of Flight Attendants called on the airline industry to impose a number of recommendations, including hand sanitizer stations in airports and on planes, the addition of "appropriate universal precaution kits" on all flights, the imposition of "CDC-recommended guidelines for aircraft cleaning" and a number of other "common-sense measures" to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    According to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, there have been a total of 95,075 cases of coronavirus confirmed worldwide - with 148 of those attributed to the US. On Wednesday, California health officials announced that their first COVID-19-related death, bringing the nation's total to 11. 

    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (445)


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