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American Airlines is suspending most of its scheduled flights to the New York City metropolitan area citing record low demand for flights to the area created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effective immediately, American will temporarily operate only 13 daily flights to New York’s LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports, and New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport until May 6. This time last year American saw over 270 departures per day from all three airports combined.
A passenger checks in for an American Airlines in Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) on March 13, 2020 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
CORONAVIRUS FORCES AMERICAN AIRLINES TO CUT FLIGHTS AS LIST OF WOES MOUNT
"As coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in New York City and the surrounding region continues to increase, along with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for travel to the area, the demand for flights to the New York area is rapidly evaporating," said David Seymour, American's senior vice president of operations.
The move comes just after the airline already "significantly reduced" service to these hubs, he said.
The airline plans to compensate New York-area team members who were scheduled to work any canceled flights. American also promised to contact customers to help them reach their final destination "as close as possible" to their original flight times.
The limited service will continue to transport "any essential personnel and goods needed by the community and medical professionals battling the disease," Seymour said.
New York quickly emerged as the U.S. epicenter of the outbreak with more than 130,000 confirmed cases across the state as of Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.