Flights in Alaska on the chopping block as bailed-out airlines seek service cuts

Published: Apr. 17, 2020 at 2:51 PM AKDT
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Airlines accepting federal bailout money are asking for exemptions from minimum service levels which could result in even less flights.

Now, because of the bailout, the government is getting involved in the decision-making for adding or reducing service to and from different cities.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said it will look at all the applications from the airlines and decide which exemptions to grant, as planes are flying with less travelers amid the crisis.

Under the new order, DOT is having airlines that receive federal assistance - which had offered a flight or more a day, at least five days a week to a city - now be required to provide at least one flight a day, five days a week. For smaller cities, service to airports that had been less than five days a week, the airline would only need to fly there one day a week.

Below are cities in which airlines are asking for exemptions to reduce or eliminate service, at least temporarily:


Alaska wants an exemption for Kona, Lihue and Kahului, Hawaii; and Sun Valley, Idaho because continued service “is not reasonable or practicable."


American is asking for latitude in providing seasonal service to Anchorage, Alaska; Kalispell, Montana; Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. It wants to stop service to ski destinations, Vail, Aspen and Montrose, Colorado; and Kahului, Kona, and Lihue, Hawaii.


Delta asks for flexibility in the dates of its seasonal service to Cody, Wyoming; Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, Alaska; Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, Massachusetts; West Yellowstone, Montana; and Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted, Virgin Islands.


United wants to stop flying to Green Bay, Wisconsin; Gunnison, Colorado; Ithaca, New York; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Valparaiso. Florida; and Santa Fe, New Mexico, saying it will reconsider a July 6 resumption of service. United is also asking for suspension of service to Hilo, Kona, Lihue, and Kahului, Hawaii, for the duration of the order, and to San Juan, Puerto Rico, until May 6 and to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, and St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands until July 6. It is also requesting postponement of the start seasonal service to Fairbanks, Alaska; Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Sun Valley, Idaho, until July 6.


JetBlue asks to temporarily stop flying to Baltimore, Maryland; San Jose, Burbank and Ontario, California; Providence, Rhode Island; and LaGuardia, Stewart and Westchester County airports in New York.In addition, JetBlue wants to halt service through June 10 to Albuquerque; Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; Bozeman, Montana; Dallas/Fort Worth; Houston George Bush Intercontinental; and Minneapolis/St. Paul.


Allegiant has a long list of cities that it says it can no longer afford to serve regularly, It wants to stop flying to Alburquerque; Bellingham, Washington; El Paso, Texas; McAllen, Texas; Ogden, Utah and Palm Springs, California, through June 30. In addition, it requests a halt to flights to Clarksburg, West Virginia; Dayton, Ohio; Grand Forks, North Dakota; Little Rock, Arkansas; Moline and Springfield, Illinois; Montrose, Colorado; Ogdensburg, New York; Owensboro, Kentucky; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Rochester, New York; St. Cloud, Minnesota; San Antonio, Texas; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Tucson, Arizona, through Sept. 30.


Through June 10, Frontier wants to temporarily stop serving Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo, New York; Billings and Bozeman, Montana; Bloomington, Illinois; Burlington, Vermont; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Detroit; El Paso, Tyler and Harlingen, Texas; Fargo, N.D.; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Spokane, Washington; Green Bay and Madison, Wisconsin; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina; Huntsville, Alabama; Wichita, Kansas; Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, Florida; Norfolk, Virginia; Pittsburgh; Palm Springs, California; Portland, Maine; Louisville, Kentucky; and Knoxville, Tennessee.

Sun Country

Sun Country is asking to suspend service from April 20 to June 15 to cities including Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego, California; Chicago; Newark, New Jersey; Denver; Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Boston; San Antonio; Seattle; Honolulu; Philadelphia; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Washington, D.C.; St. Louis: Madison, Wisconsin and Anchorage, Alaska.


Spirit, another discounter, said in their filing that "continued service to the following cities is not "reasonable or practical" during the crisis:

Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; Asheville, North Carolina; Austin; Charleston, West Virginia; Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted, Virgin Islands; Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Greensboro, North Carolina; Hartford, Connecticut; Indianapolis, Indiana; Jacksonville, Florida; Pittsburgh and Latrobe, Pennsylvania; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; New York City; Niagara Falls, New York; Portland, Oregon; Richmond, Virginia; Raleigh/Durham; Sacramento and San Francisco, California.

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