Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines Tuesday asked the U.S. Transportation Department for approval to droop flights to over two dozen U.S. airports.
U.S. travel demand has dropped by more than 95% due to the coronavirus pandemic, and airports are trying to chop prices to stay in business.
JetBlue desires to halt flights to 16 U.S. airports, along with Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Dallas and Detroit through September 30.
Delta desires to cancel flights to nine airports: Lansing, Flint and Kalamazoo in Michigan, and Worcester, Massachusetts, Hilton Head, Idaho, Brunswick, Georgia, and Melbourne, Florida. Delta argues passengers may still use different nearby airports like Grand Rapids or Detroit in Michigan.
Delta says between April 1-April 22, just 1 to 14 passengers daily flew on the airline’s planes every way from those nine airports.
Spirit Airways requested the department for approval to suspend flights to Charlotte, North Carolina, Denver, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Seattle, Portland, and Phoenix, arguing requiring the flights “during a period of almost zero demand is against the public interest as it wastes scarce financial assets while including virtually nothing.”
The airlines should maintain minimum service levels in trade for getting cash grants from the U.S. Treasury to assist in payroll prices unless the division issues a waiver.