United Airlines Holdings Inc.
said Sunday that it is projecting March revenue will be $1.5 billion lower that a year ago, as the air carrier said there have been more than one million fewer passengers in just the first two weeks of the month as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The bad news is that it’s getting worse,” Chief Executive Oscar Munoz and President Scott Kirby said in a message to the airline’s nearly 100,000 employees. “We expect both the number of customers and revenue to decline sharply in the days and weeks ahead.” United said it decided over the weekend to cut salaries of corporate officers by 50%, have held discussions with union leadership about how to cut payroll expenses and will announce on Monday that it will reduce capacity by 50% for April and May. Even with the cut in capacity, load factors are expected to drop into the 20% to 30% range, “if things don’t get worse.” United’s stock has plunged 47.7% over the past month through Friday, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average
has shed 26.9% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average
has lost 21.1%.