United pegs growth to Covid-19 vaccine availability

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United 777 in Hong Kong
United's Andrew Nocella said the airline doesn't expect to grow larger than approximately half of its pre-pandemic size for a year.

United doesn't expect to grow larger than approximately half of its pre-pandemic size for a year, or maybe a little longer, chief commercial officer Andrew Nocella said Thursday.

That's how long the carrier anticipates it will take for a Covid-19 vaccine to become widely available, Nocella added, speaking during a United for Business web presentation.

He noted that in the meantime, United isn't planning substantial aircraft retirements. Rather, the carrier will ready itself for what it expects to be a rapid return of travel demand after a vaccine has been widely distributed.

"One of the key cornerstones of what we have been doing is making sure we have the ability to bounce back once people get up and going," Nocella said.

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