DENVER, CO — Spirit Airlines has asked the U.S. Transportation Department for approval to suspend flights to Denver International Airport. A group of airlines on Tuesday asked the state department for suspensions to more than two dozen U.S. airports.
The request comes as the number of new coronavirus cases in the United States topped 1 million Tuesday and air travel demand has decreased by more than 95 percent, according to a report by Reuters.
Spirit Airlines also asked for approval to suspend flights to Charlotte, North Carolina, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Seattle, Portland and Phoenix.
Delta and JetBlue Airways have also requested to suspend flights to various cities. The companies are following United and Frontier Airlines, whose requests to suspend flights were mostly denied by the Department of Transportation earlier this week.
JetBlue wants to halt flights to 16 U.S. airports including Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Dallas and Detroit through Sept. 30.
Delta wants to suspend flights to airports including: Lansing, Flint and Kalamazoo in Michigan; Worcester, Massachusetts; Hilton Head, South Carolina; Pocatello, Idaho; Brunswick, Georgia; and Melbourne, Florida.
Earlier this month, the department rejected most of Spirit’s requests to halt flights, requiring the company to resume flights to New York City and other tri-state airports after it suspended service to all New York, New Jersey and Connecticut airports it serves.
The department also had previously required JetBlue to keep flying to nine destinations, including Portland, Dallas, Houston and Minneapolis.
About 2.3 million people passed through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints on March 1, according to The Associated Press, a number unchanged from the same day last year. The numbers careened sharply lower from that point on, plunging below 100,000 by early April. Airline officials say most of the people still flying are health care workers fighting the coronavirus outbreak and individuals reuniting with family members.
Airlines for America, a trade group for the leading U.S. carriers, told The Associated Press that the average domestic flight in the past week had 17 passengers.
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