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American Airlines suspends service to 15 U.S. cities

Airlines plan to furlough thousands of employees
Airlines warn of furloughs as pandemic impacts travel industry 01:48

American Airlines said Thursday that it will stop flying to 15 U.S. cities starting this fall amid declining demand and as a federal requirement to service those locales ends. 

The carrier will reevaluate the need to service those cities in late September. Effective Oct. 7 and running through its Nov. 3 scheduling period, American will halt flights to:

  • Del Rio, Texas
  • Dubuque, Iowa
  • Florence, South Carolina
  • Greenville, North Carolina
  • Huntington, West Virginia
  • Joplin, Missouri
  • Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • New Haven, Connecticut
  • New Windsor, New York
  • Roswell, New Mexico
  • Sioux City, Iowa
  • Springfield, Illinois
  • Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • Williamsport, Pennsylvania

American is the only airline offering year-round service in nine of these cities including New Haven, said airline industry analyst Henry Harteveldt. 

American's announcement is its latest step to cut costs after it and other airlines racked up billions in losses during the pandemic. The company said in May it would slash 30% of its management and administrative jobs. Roughly 25,000 American Airlines workers could be furloughed October 1. The company also reached a deal with its pilots union to offer more leaves and early-retirement packages. 

Travel industry experts have predicted that the pandemic could cost domestic airlines more than $20 billion in lost revenue this year. The industry globally could lose up to $84 billion this year, according to the International Air Transport Association.

More than 80,000 pilots, flight attendants and other airline workers could be furloughed as carriers attempt to navigate catastrophic losses stemming from COVID-19.

United Airlines in July warned that almost half of its front-line workforce could be furloughed this fall. The airline's tally of 36,000 workers includes 15,000 flight attendants, 11,000 customer service reps and gate agents, 5,550 maintenance employees and 2,250 pilots.

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