American Airlines axes most flights to New York area, the country’s COVID-19 epicenter

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American Airlines will suspend more than 95% of flights in and out of New York-area airports for the next month the metropolitan region is the hardest hit by COVID-19 cases.

Starting Tuesday, American will operate just 13 flights a day combined out of John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International from now through May 6. To compare, the airline flew 271 flights a day out of those three airports in April 2019.

“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 a letter to American Airlines Senior Vice President of Operations David Seymour.

There are more than 160,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York state and New Jersey, according to Johns Hopkins University, nearly half of all cases in the United States.

American said it will also only operate the airports from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and won’t keep any overnight crew or staff in those places

American will still keep two daily flights in and out of LaGuardia to DFW International Airport and Charlotte, as well as a daily flight to Boston, Miami, Chicago’s O’Hare and Dulles in Washington D.C.

From JFK Airport, American will operate a daily flight to and from DFW, Charlotte and Miami. From Newark, American will keep a daily route DFW and Charlotte.

“This limited New York service will continue to provide critical connectivity for our customers, including transportation for any essential personnel and goods needed by the community and medical professionals battling the disease,” Seymour said. “Although New York is one of the current COVID-19 hotspots in the U.S., all of us have an incredibly important role to play as we ensure the safety of our colleagues, communities and loved ones as we work to contain the virus.”


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