Arguably the busiest metropolitan area in the world with three major airports, flights to and from New York City are almost always full.
In this time of the global coronavirus pandemic with travel restrictions, lowered demand for travel, severe cutbacks in service by the airlines and, specifically, major cuts in service to New York, the epicenter of the virus, it’s not surprising to see planes nearly empty.
But this is still shocking to hear.
On Sunday, April 5, a spokesperson for American Airlines confirmed to Fox News that the carrier flew nine flights out of New York City that had just one passenger on each plane.
Airlines are required to maintain a minimum service schedule as part of the CARES Act bailout stimulus package offered by the federal government, but that is still a surprising number.
In fact, according to Fox, American’s busiest flight from New York City’s LaGuardia Airport only had 27 passengers on board a plane with 172 seats, and at JFK International Airport, the busiest flight from the airline had 49 passengers.
It wasn’t any better a day later, as American Airlines said Monday that the busiest flight from LaGuardia only had 35 passengers, while the busiest flight from JFK had 25 passengers.
American announced last week it was joining other airlines in cutting back flights in and out of New York. It will only operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the three major NYC airports and will not have overnight crews working.
“Although New York is one of the current COVID-19 hotspots in the U.S., all of us have an incredibly important role to play as we ensure the safety of our colleagues, communities and loved ones as we work to contain the virus,” American said in a memo to employees obtained by Fox News. “I am proud of the way our team has pulled together during these exceptional times and shown commitment to caring for each other. By working together, and taking aggressive steps to protect our team and manage our network, we can continue providing safe, efficient air travel, and be ready to step up when America and the world are ready to move again.”
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