Airlines and Automakers Consider How to Reopen




Airlines and Automakers Consider How to Reopen

Published April 22, 2020Updated April 23, 2020, 12:15 a.m. 

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It could be years before the U.S. economy fully recovers from the pandemic, but some airline and auto industry executives are starting to ask what it will take to reopen their businesses.

Delta Air LinesAmerican AirlinesUnited Airlines and Southwest Airlines have already aggressively advertised the precautions they are taking to lure back passengers, from fogging cabins with disinfectant to restricting food service to blocking out middle seats.

The chief executive of Delta, Ed Bastian, told financial analysts on Wednesday his company was prepared to “make whatever changes to the business model that will be necessary.” That could mean federally administered “immunity passports” or spacing out seats or running flights with fewer passengers.


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“This recovery is going to take several years,” Mr. Bastian said. “It’s going to be multi-phased, it’s going to be choppy along the way. We’ll have opportunities to test all those theses and see what it takes.”