May 8, 2020 / 7:47 PM / 18 days ago

Delta will suspend service to 10 U.S. airports starting May 13

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) said on Friday it will suspend service to 10 U.S. airports where it services a nearby airport until at least September amid the massive travel falloff due to the coronavirus outbreak.

FILE PHOTO: Delta Air Lines passenger planes are seen parked due to flight reductions made to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S. March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

Delta is halting flights to Chicago Midway; Oakland International Airport; Hollywood Burbank; Long Beach; Providence, R.I., Westchester County Airport; Stewart International; Akron-Canton, Ohio; Manchester, N.H. and Newport News/Williamsburg until at least September.

Delta is cutting flights by 85% in the second quarter and seeking permission from U.S. regulators to suspend flights to nine other cities that could be served by other airports, including three Michigan cities.

Delta says between April 1-April 22, just one to 14 passengers daily flew on the airline’s planes each way from those nine airports.

“By consolidating operations while customer traffic is low, we can allow more of our people to stay home in accordance with local health guidelines,” aid Sandy Gordon, Delta’s senior vice president for domestic airport operations.

Delta’s second quarter cuts include an 80% reduction in U.S. domestic capacity and 90% internationally.

In the last two weeks, U.S. industry air travel demand has risen off record lows, but is still down about 94% versus last year.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Transportation Department said JetBlue Airways Corp and Spirit Airlines Co can halt some flights through Sept. 30.

JetBlue can halt flights to 16 major U.S. cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Seattle and Las Vegas, while Spirit can halt flights to six airports including Phoenix, Denver, Minneapolis and Seattle.

U.S. airlines are cutting costs, canceling flights, parking planes and struggling to stay afloat. As a condition of receiving federal grants, they must continue most existing flight routes unless they receive specific approval from U.S. regulators.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese and Diane Craft

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