May 5, 2020 / 5:40 PM / in 23 days

JetBlue, Spirit can suspend some U.S. flights through Sept. 30 -- USDOT

WASHINGTON, May 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. Transportation Department said Tuesday that JetBlue Airways Corp and Spirit Airlines Co can halt some flights through Sept. 30 amid the massive travel falloff due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Under government orders issued Tuesday, JetBlue can halt flights to 16 major U.S. cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Seattle and Las Vegas, while Spirit can halt flights to six airports including Phoenix, Denver, Minneapolis and Seattle.

Since March, U.S air travel demand has fallen by about 95%. U.S. airlines are cutting costs, canceling flights, parking planes and struggling to stay afloat. As a condition of receiving federal grants, they must continue most existing flight routes unless they receive specific approval from U.S. regulators. (Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul)

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