American Airlines Cuts Most NYC-Area Flights Amid Pandemic

April 6, 2020 Updated: April 6, 2020

American Airlines announced that it’s suspending more inbound and outbound flights at all three major airports in the New York metropolitan area as COVID-19 infections continue to mount.

The air carrier said that between April 9 and May 6, it will operate a total of 13 daily flights from New York’s JFK and LaGuardia airports and Newark Liberty airport in New Jersey. A year ago, American flew an average of 271 daily flights across all three airports, so the drop in flight volume represents a cut of around 95 percent.

“As coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in New York City and the surrounding region continue 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,” David Seymour, American’s senior vice president of operations, said in a statement late April 5, USA Today reported.

Epoch Times Photo
American Airlines planes are seen while a passenger waits for boarding at the Reagan International Airport in Washington, DC, on April 3, 2020. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

The announcement comes a day after United slashed flights to the metro area. Spirit Airlines, JetBlue, and other carriers had already suspended some service since New York is a hotspot of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

New York, the hardest-hit state, reported April 4 that there were nearly 600 new deaths and 8,327 new positives, for a total of 4,159 deaths and 122,000 total cases.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said April 5 he believed there needs to be a mass rollout of rapid testing in order to achieve a “return to normalcy” after the peak of COVID-19 infections passes.

“I think you see the return to normalcy when we have an approved rapid testing program that can be brought to scale, Cuomo told a daily briefing on the coronavirus response. “That is going to be the answer, I believe.”

new york nurse
An emergency room nurse dons her face protectors after taking a break in a driveway for ambulances and emergency medical services vehicles outside Brooklyn Hospital Center’s emergency room in New York, during the CCP virus crisis on April 5, 2020. (Kathy Willens/AP Photo)

Earlier, American said in a statement it was slashing international flights for summer and delaying the launch of new routes for winter due to record low demand.

“American will suspend more than 60% of its total international capacity this summer compared to the same peak period in 2019, which includes an 80% reduction in Pacific capacity, 65% reduction in Atlantic capacity and 48% reduction in Latin America capacity,” the air carrier stated.

Epoch Times Photo
Canceled flights are seen on an airport screen as the spread of COVID-19 continues, in New Orleans, La., on April 4, 2020. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in an advisory that people returning from international travel should self-quarantine for two weeks from the time they return home.

“During this 14-day period, take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing,” the CDC stated.

During such post-travel quarantines, people should take their temperature twice a day and watch for a cough or trouble breathing, the CDC said.

They should avoid public transport, stay about 6 feet away from other people, and avoid leaving their homes unless absolutely necessary.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM