News from the national airline American Airlines is that they are going to suspend its current service to 15 cities across the country starting on October 7th, 2020. This coincides with the date that the CARES Act federal assistance is due to expire.
Many of the secondary cities on the airline’s network routes, from New Mexico up to Connecticut, are included on the list to be cut. This will mean some cities will be in danger of having their only air connectivity lost once American Airlines leaves.
Those cities that are currently being serviced by the regional arm of the airline, American Eagle, are not expected to be those affected by the cuts. At this time, the plan is for the suspensions to last at least through November 3rd, but American stated that they could possibly be extended if needed.
The announcement, made on Thursday, is just another indicator of what is proving to be a somewhat slow recovery for the airline, and the industry as a whole, after having been shut down due to the current coronavirus pandemic. With the expiration of the government assistance that the airline has been receiving through the CARES ACT looming closer, the airline feels this is the only choice they have.
In order for the airline to receive their part of the sweeping relief package, which included billions of dollars to aid in payroll assistance, American was required to continue the offered service across its current network route. This meant that many flights might have had few if any passengers on board. This requirement of flying was only given an exemption if it was granted by the Department of Transportation
Those secondary cities serviced by American Eagle, a regional arm of American Airlines, are the ones that will be largely impacted. Some are even believed to be in imminent danger of losing the only air connectivity that they currently possess, once American suspends any services.
Those cities that will be affected include: Del Rio, TX; Dubuque, IA; Florence, NC; Greenville, NC; Huntington, WV; Joplin, MS; Kalamazoo, MI; Lake Charles, LA; New Haven, CT; Roswell, NM; Sioux City, IA; Springfield, IL; Stillwater, OK; and Williamsport, PA.
Although American stated that the suspensions are only scheduled to last from October 7th to November 3rd, they also made a note of the fact the suspension may be extended and may include even more cities as such.
Delta Airlines reportedly made a similar move with its services back in June.
Will these suspensions aid in the airline industry bouncing back from the pandemic?