PORTLAND – In response to plummeting demand for air travel, the U.S. Department of Transportation is tentatively granting exemptions to major airlines to suspend flights into 62 different airports around the United States. Three airlines plan to suspend flights into Maine’s two largest airports, according to documents from the U.S. DOT.
In total, 62 cities would see flights from at least one airline suspended under exemptions granted by DOT just weeks after the airlines received federal taxpayer support under the CARES Act. No airport will see the loss of all services but some airports will be reduced to one carries.
In Maine, Portland International Jetport (PWM) will lose flights from Cape Air and Frontier Airlines. Delta has been granted an exemption from providing flights to Bangor International Airport (BIA). While Delta will strike those flying out of Bangor as a major loss, Cape Air’s partnership with jetBlue is also certain to leave some in Portland feeling a loss.
The approval of the exemptions allowing the airlines to suspend service to up to 5% of the airports they serve, or five airports was posted on regulations.gov late on Friday, May 22.
An abstract of the document says, “Any objections or comments to our tentative findings should be filed by 5:00 PM (EDT) on May 28, 2020 in the Docket and served upon all interested parties.”
Bangor International Airport would only have three airlines providing service with the suspension of Delta flights: American, Allegiant and United. Portland would continue to have seven airlines providing service.
Other airports slated to see suspension of flights include those in major cities such as Charleston, SC; San Antonio, TX; New Orleans, LA; Tucson, AZ; Sacramento, CA and Lincoln, NE.
According to the DOT Continuation of Certain Air Service notice, the suspensions would be in effect until September 30.
You can read the official U.S. DOT document by clicking here.