U.S. grants tentative OK for 15 air carriers to suspend service to 75 airports


FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop, at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, U.S. December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Transportation Department said late Friday it had granted tentative approval to 15 airlines to temporarily halt service to 75 U.S. airports because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Airlines must maintain minimum service levels in order to receive government assistance but many have petitioned to stop service to airports with low passenger demand. Both United Airlines (UAL.O) and Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) won tentative approval to halt flights to 11 airports, while JetBlue Airways Corp (JBLU.O), Alaska Airlines (ALK.N) and Frontier Airlines were approved to stop flights to five airports each. The department said all airports would continue to be served by at least one air carrier.

The Transportation Department said objections to the order can be filed until May 28.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler

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