The coronavirus pandemic induced lockdowns in several countries. The lockdown also led to travel restrictions which continue to be in place for many countries. Now that the lockdown restrictions begin to ease, the airline operations have also started to roll. The airline services have started but the travel demand continues to remain very low, putting the airline in further financial pressure to operate. Fifteen of the US based airlines have been allowed by the government on June 3, 2020 halt services to 75 domestic airports on a temporary basis.
The approval has been given to the airlines as the travel demand continued to remain low. However, it has been clarified by the U.S. Transportation Department that all the airports would be served by at least one carrier. Objections were made on the tentative list that was made public on May 22, 2020, but the government did not make any changes.
The government of the U.S. has granted $25 billion for the airline industry as payroll assistance grants to deal with the pandemic situation crisis. The carriers are expected to maintain minimum service to receive assistance from the government, but still many have filed petitions to stop service to the airports due to the low passenger demand.
Even earlier the department has allowed some of the airlines to temporarily halt services to some of the airports. But some of the requests were rejected as well. For now the Delta Airlines and the United Airlines have won the approval to halt their services at about six airports. Other airlines including Alaska Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines and JetBlue Airways Corp have also received approval to stop services to five airports each.
Many of the airlines have parked about half of their fleet and cut about thousands of flights as people are avoiding unnecessary travel. More airlines are also trying to win approvals from the government to halt operations amidst the crisis.
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