American Airlines makes good on threat to ax cities, cuts 15 in ‘first step’
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American Airlines has added 15 U.S. cities to the list of things it plans to cut this fall in an effort to right-size the airline amid a historic drop in air travel because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based Oneworld alliance carrier called the cuts — initially from just Oct. 7 to Nov. 3 — the “first step” in a broad re-evaluation of its route map. Additional schedule changes are expected in the “coming weeks,” American said in a statement on Thursday
The reductions come a week after the flight schedule requirements in the federal coronavirus aid package, or CARES Act, expire on Sept. 30. American has also warned around 26,000 staff members of possible furloughs beginning in October.
American is suspending service to the following cities in October:
- Del Rio, Texas (DRT) – served from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
- Dubuque, Iowa (DBQ) – served from Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
- Florence, South Carolina (FLO) – served from Charlotte (CLT)
- Greenville, North Carolina (PGV) – served from Charlotte
- Huntington, West Virginia (HTS) – served from Charlotte
- Joplin, Missouri (JLN) – served from Dallas/Fort Worth
- Kalamazoo, Michigan (AZO) – served from Chicago O’Hare
- Lake Charles, Louisiana (LCH) – served from Dallas/Fort Worth
- New Haven, Connecticut (HVN) – served from Philadelphia (PHL)
- Newburgh, New York (SWF) – served from Philadelphia
- Roswell, New Mexico (ROW) – served from Dallas/Fort Worth
- Sioux City, Iowa (SUX) – served from Chicago O’Hare
- Springfield, Illinois (SPI) – served from Dallas/Fort Worth
- Stillwater, Oklahoma (SWO) – served from Dallas/Fort Worth
- Williamsport, Pennsylvania (IPT) – served from Charlotte and Philadelphia
American indicates that it could “re-assess [its] plans” if the CARES Act’s payroll support program for airline staff is extended. Labor unions are leading the push for an additional six months of employment protections though every major carrier supports the effort.
The prospects for an extension of the payroll support program are uncertain, at best. Congress is not scheduled to reconvene to discuss a new CARES Act until after Labor Day in September.
American’s departure will leave nine of the cities entirely without commercial air service. Del Rio, Dubuque, Florence, Greenville, Joplin, New Haven, Roswell, Stillwater and Williamsport, according to Cirium schedules.
Featured image by Robert Alexander/Getty Images.
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