JetBlue suspends flights at eight airports, including New York LaGuardia, Baltimore, San Jose

Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY

JetBlue Airways is suspending flights at eight U.S. airports for two months and expects to add more to the list as it grapples with a plunge in travel demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, the New York-based carrier said it is consolidating operations in five major metropolitan markets from April 15 through June 10.

The airline said it is combining flights in the Boston, New York City, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco markets, where it usually offers flights from multiple airports.

In the New York area, JetBlue will base flights out of John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International airports. During this time, it will suspend flights to and from LaGuardia; Westchester County (New York) Airport; and Stewart International Airport in the Hudson Valley north of Manhattan.

In the capital region, all JetBlue flights will depart from Reagan/Washington National and temporarily stop flying out of Baltimore/Washington International.

In the Boston market, all flights will depart out of Logan International, and service out of T.F. Green International Airport in Providence, Rhode Island, will be suspended.

In Los Angeles, JetBlue will operate out of LAX and Long Beach, temporarily ceasing operations at Hollywood Burbank and Ontario International Airport in Southern California.

In the Bay Area, all flights will depart out of San Francisco International, and service out of San Jose International Airport will be suspended.

JetBlue's average daily flight departures in the five metro areas will be reduced from 492 to 70 in April.

“We face new challenges every day and can’t hesitate to take the steps necessary to reduce our costs amidst dramatically falling demand, so we can emerge from this unprecedented time as a strong company for our customers and crew members,” Scott Laurence, JetBlue's head of revenue and planning, said in a statement.

JetBlue said it plans to ask the U.S. Department of Transportation for an exemption that will allow it to temporarily suspend flying at other airports where it has only a handful of daily flights. It did not name the airports.

It needs to request an exemption because one of the conditions in the coronavirus relief bill for airlines is that they maintain minimum service levels. The level of required flights is based on previous flight schedules.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said in a filing that participating airlines must maintain flights to all U.S. destinations served before March 1 unless they are granted an exemption.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus travel: JetBlue suspends flights at eight airports