MIAMI – US airlines United Airlines (UA), Delta Air Lines (DL), jetBlue (B6) and Spirit Airlines (NK) have all reduced daily flights, totaling less than 50, in accordance with travel guidelines and halted operations at New York’s airports.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to avoid non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.
Due to this and the drop in demand in March from 600 to 200 departures and arrivals, John F. Kennedy International (JFK), Newark Liberty International (EWR) and LaGuardia (LGA) airports decided to operate only eight hours daily, affecting the scheduled flights of several airlines.
Capacity cuts in numbers
By the end of March, NK reduced its operations at LGA, EWR until May 4 following the CDC recommendations. During the past year throughout January, CNBC reported that NK was the fifth-largest carrier in the two mentioned airfields with 1.3m and 1.4m passengers, respectively.
Also, B6 cut capacity in the area by 80%, or 40 flights a day from a total of 200, as an increase of its schedule reduction of 40% in April, May and through June 5.
Then, on Saturday, UA cut 139 daily flights to only 15 at EWR and 18 to two daily flights LGA for the next three weeks. The company also announced an extension of waive fees for travel affected due to the COVID-19.
In addition, DL while also lengthening its customer benefits, as it is now flying a reduced schedule in the area during the month of April, including essential service to US hubs, according to CNBC.
Lastly, on Sunday, American Airlines (AA) reduced its capacity by 90% for the NY area due to the latest travel guidelines and the recent spread of the COVID-19 in NYC. Previously, the carrier had announced a cut plan of 60% in its April schedule and a bigger one in May.
These new cancelations add to the aforementioned carriers’ costs, as passengers must be fully refunded following last week’s US Transportation Department order for airlines to do so, as did earlier the European Union.