**Update: 25/08/2020 @ 15:42 UTC: American Airlines spokesperson comment added.**
American Airlines has reversed its decision to temporarily suspend services to Sioux City this week. The airline announced five days ago that it would drop 15 markets in the United States as a result of the pandemic. However, Sioux City has now been given another chance at profitability.
Flights to Sioux City are back on
Until last week, if you were planning a trip to or from Sioux City with American Airlines, you would have been fine. However, on August 20th, the airline announced that it would be suspending services out of Sioux Gateway Airport in Iowa citing low demand. The airport was among fifteen in the country with axed American Airlines services due to start on October 7th.
Despite that decision, American Airlines has now changed its mind. Until further notice, the airline’s flights will continue out of Sioux City. That means passengers can make reservations where they would otherwise not have been able to.
The delay in suspension will give American Airlines time to source extra funding as CARES support runs out. If it can do so, services at Sioux City as well as others that have been suspended might be reconsidered.
However, though the suspension is not going ahead yet in Sioux City, American Airlines will continue to monitor the demand at the airport. If passenger demand increases above 70%, then the airline will continue flights. Currently, three American Airlines services operate from Sioux Gateway Airport daily. One flight leaves for Dallas Fort Worth and two more to Chicago.
An American Airlines spokesperson told Simple Flying,
“We recognize that Sioux City is an Essential Air Service (EAS) market and subject to a specific exit timeline. Our flights to the market are among those that have suffered from low demand, so we plan to move forward with the Department of Transportation process for EAS markets in the absence of a PSP extension that maintains the CARES Act service requirements.”
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14 other cities on the list
Despite the renewed hope for Sioux Gateway, there are still 14 other cities affected by American’s service suspension. These are:
- Del Rio, Texas;
- Dubuque, Iowa;
- Florence, South Carolina;
- Greenville, North Carolina;
- Huntington, West Virginia;
- Joplin, Missouri;
- Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Michigan;
- Lake Charles, Louisiana;
- New Haven, Connecticut;
- New Windsor, New York;
- Roswell, New Mexico;
- Springfield, Illinois;
- Stillwater, Oklahoma; and
- Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
These services will stop between October 7th and November 3rd. However, they are subject to change. In a recent press release, American Airlines said;
“The airline will continue to re-assess plans for these and other markets as an extension of the Payroll Support Program remains under deliberation.”
An updated October schedule is expected by August 29th.
Is a CARES Act 2.0 on the cards?
Despite airlines pushing for the passing of a CARES Act 2.0, the decision is yet to be made. Where it had once seemed like an obvious choice, there is certainly not the defiant hope that there had once been in its arrival.
Perhaps with a new stimulus deal, American Airlines would not have needed to cull services to vital regions. While Sioux City might not be the most popular destination in terms of tourism, the Sioux Gateway Airport serves as a critical connection for people who live there. Without it, the US is more difficult to navigate.
However, when the CARES Act support ends on October 1st, airlines like American might have little choice but to reduce its services to keep up with their finances. Do you foresee more services cut when CARES runs out?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.