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Airlines Launch Sales, Hopeful to Bring Flyers Back to the Skies

As the holiday season approaches, many airlines are introducing sales to encourage flyers to take to the skies once more. Low-cost carrier Allegiant, British Airways, and Southwest Airlines have all offered recent sales with the goal of increasing sales before the third quarter ends.

Ahead of what is normally a busy holiday season, airlines are trying to entice flyers to board their aircraft with big sales. At least three airlines – Allegiant, British Airways and Southwest Airlines – have all announced major discounts on certain flights, hopeful to add sales before the quarter ends on Sept. 30, 2020.

Airfare Sales Focus on Connecting Flyers to Key Destinations

All three airfare sales are focused on connecting flyers between major markets in their airline networks. Each sale offers different discounts based on traditionally strong routes, or new destination additions.

At Allegiant, the airline is offering fares as low as $29 each way on certain new routes. Examples of the deeply discounted pairings include seasonal routes between Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) in Florida to Chicago Midway Airport (MDW), Phoenix-Mesa Gateway International Airport (AZA) to Santa Maria Airport (SMX) and Denver International Airport (DEN) to Provo Municipal Airport (PVU) in Utah. To take advantage of the lower prices, airfares must be purchased by Aug. 29, 2020, for flights by Feb. 8, 2021.

Southwest Airlines’ sale is more of a flash offering, with their “WOW” sale ending at midnight Central Time on Aug. 27, 2020. Airfares start at $39 one-way, between certain marketplaces. Examples of the discounted $39 one-way airfare include Chicago Midway Airport (DTW) to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), Nashville International Airport (BNA) to Raleigh/Durham International Airport (RDU) and Las Vegas McCarren International Airport (LAS) to Oakland International Airport (OAK).

British Airways is offering discounted airfare to multiple destinations in the United States and North America, including New York, San Francisco, and the Caribbean. Prices for round-trip airfare starts at around $394 between Britain and New York, around $459 to San Francisco, and Antigua or St. Lucia for $507 per month. Flights must be booked by Sept. 30, 2020.

The airfare from the British flag carrier comes with complications, as Britain and other nations still require a 14-day quarantine for visitors. Both the United States and United Kingdom have a quarantine mandate for all non-resident travelers, although British lawmakers are petitioning the prime minister’s office to institute COVID-19 testing at airports and other ports of entry instead of a quarantine.

Sales Come Before Critical Third-Quarter Numbers

For some of these carriers, the sales represent an effort to improve sales before the third quarter comes to an end. In the second quarter, both British Airways and Southwest reported major losses.

British Airways’ parent company lost $1.6 billion in the first six months of 2020, forcing the airline to take some drastic cost-cutting measures. In addition to selling artwork from their collection, the British flag carrier also retired their entire fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft.

At Southwest Airlines, the airline lost $1.5 billion in the second quarter, but remained hopeful they could fly the 737 MAX by the end of the year, and welcome more passengers for the holiday season. Even with their optimism, the airline’s chief executive campaigned to receive more Payroll Support Program money from a “phase four” bill from Congress.

Grog September 1, 2020

Getting people "out and about" without robust contact-tracing and quick results on COVID tests is about the stupidest thing we could do right now. How hard is it to look at the countries that have fared the best (no pun intended) in this era?

OZFLYER86 August 29, 2020

airfare sales will get people out & about. Think we will see rolling sales for next few months at least, ie. one sale ends, another start day or 2 later. Off peak hour flights might get very cheap. Looked at LAX/DEN/LAX & was cheap on UA ($35) but then had to add $35 for 1 bag.

edgewood49 August 28, 2020

domestically this might help but flyers are still skeptical myself being one. Internationally is a different story. I like I am sure you are hoping people will return to the air oh be it in smaller numbers.