This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
American Airlines plans to remove service to 15 small and medium-sized markets as a result of low demand and the expiration of the air service requirements associated with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the company said Thursday. Calling the move the first step toward further schedule changes “in the coming weeks,” American took the opportunity presented by the expiration of service requirements the CARES Act imposed upon its passage in March.
The legislation’s Payroll Support Program sets aside the $25 billion in grants given to U.S. airlines strictly for employee compensation and requires carriers accepting grants to maintain a minimum level of domestic service, including routes operated by regional affiliates.
American’s service cuts affect Del Rio, Texas; Dubuque, Iowa; Florence, South Carolina; Greenville, North Carolina; Huntington, West Virginia; Joplin, Missouri; Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Michigan; Lake Charles, Louisiana; New Haven, Connecticut; New Windsor, New York; Roswell, New Mexico; Sioux City, Iowa; Springfield, Illinois; Stillwater, Oklahoma; and Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
American said the station suspensions will take effect on October 7 and run through November 3. It added that it will continue to reassess plans for the 15 markets in question as an extension of the CARES Act’s Payroll Support Program remains under deliberation. The airline said it will release a full October schedule on August 29 and that it anticipates releasing an updated November schedule by late September.