Airlines are working to stay afloat amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

By Andrea Romano
June 08, 2020
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The coronavirus pandemic has certainly made an impact on the travel industry — especially with airlines. While some companies have been required to maintain service to all of their destinations during the pandemic, according to Matador Network, recent changes are allowing airlines to drop certain cities from their list of routes.

According to One Mile At A Time, 15 U.S. airlines are dropping routes to 75 cities across the country. Previously, the CARES Act required airlines to maintain a minimum service to all destinations, but companies are now applying for exemptions on a case-by-case basis. Airlines have been dropping certain destinations to offset the lower customer demand to certain destinations.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is allowing airlines to drop “ either five total markets, or to 5% of their total markets served, whichever is greater,” according to One Mile At A Time. In addition, airlines may prioritize which markets they wanted to drop, and only until Sept. 30, 2020. The CARES Act also requires at least one airline to serve every airport so service does not become completely impossible for some markets, according to Matador Network.

So far, airlines like United, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue, Frontier, Delta, and Spirit Airlines have dropped several destinations until the funding for the CARES Act runs out.

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Below is a list of airlines, with cities where each has temporarily discontinued service within the U.S. and its territories, according to One Mile At A Time:

Allegiant Air: New Orleans, La.; Ogdensburg, N.Y.; Palm Springs, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; Springfield, Ill.; Tucson, Ariz.

American Airlines: Aspen, Eagle, and Montrose/Delta, Colo.; Worcester, Mass.

Cape Air: Portland, Maine.

Corvus Airlines: Goodnews Bay, Kodiak, Napakiak, Napaskia, and Platinum, Alaska.

Delta Air Lines: Aspen, Colo.; Bangor, Maine; Erie, Pa.; Flint, Mich.; Fort Smith, Ark.; Lincoln, Neb.; New Bern/Morehead/Beaufort, N.C.; Peoria, Ill.; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Williston, N.D.

Elite Airways: Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla.

Frontier Airlines: Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; Mobile, Ala.; Palm Springs, Calif.; Portland, Maine; Tyler, Texas.

JetBlue Airways: Albuquerque, N.M.; Palm Springs and Sacramento, Calif.; Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla.; Worcester, Mass.

Seaborne Airlines: Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted, United States Virgin Islands; Culebra, San Juan, and Vieques in Puerto Rico.

Silver Airways: Charlotte Amalie, United States Virgin Islands; Huntsville, Ala.; Key West, Tallahassee, and Tampa, Fla.

Spirit Airlines: Asheville, N.C.; Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted, United States Virgin Islands; Greensboro/High Point, N.C.; Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Sun Air Express: Nashville, Tenn.

Sun Country Airlines: Madison, Wis.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento, Calif.; St. Louis, Mo.

United Airlines: Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, Pa.; Charlotte Amalie, United States Virgin Islands; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Fairbanks, Alaska; Hilton Head, S.C.; Ithaca/Cortland, N.Y.; Kalamazoo and Lansing, Mich.; Key West, Fla.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Rochester, Minn.

Airlines have until May 18 to submit a list of cities they wish to drop service to the DOT. Many airlines have also greatly reduced service internationally since the pandemic began. Travel restrictions from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico are halted until at least June 21.

It’s easy to see that the travel industry will be incredibly different once restrictions are over, not only with changes in service, but also practices including health screening, cleaning, and even seating on planes. Airports may also change its policies and screening procedures in order to encourage social distancing and promote the overall health of employees and customers.