Leading low-cost US carrier Spirit Airlines has become the first mainline carrier to cease flights to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Flight cancellations will start from tomorrow and are anticipated to last until at least the first week in May. This comes as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a warning against all non-essential travel to the area.
Spirit becomes first to drop the tri-state area
Low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has announced a raft of service cuts in response to warnings from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC). The carrier announced late yesterday (Monday) that all flights to the New York, Connecticut and New Jersey areas would be dropped.
Spirit appears to be the first major US airline to cut flights to the tri-state region following the CDC advisory. The CDC had, over the weekend, warned against all non-essential travel to and from the area after the confirmed cases of COVID-19 spiked in the region.
The CDC announcement read,
“The CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately. This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply.“
The South Florida-based airline may be the first to drop flights to the tri-state area, but likely won’t be the last. According to the Guardian, New York has registered more than 67,000 cases of COVID-19, along with 1,342 fatalities. New Jersey is the second-worst affected area in the US, with 16,636 cases and 198 deaths.
Details of the flight cuts
Spirit Airlines will end service to five airports across the three states. These are:
- Hartford (BDL)
- Newark Liberty (EWR)
- New York La Guardia (LGA)
- Niagara Falls (IAG)
- Plattsburgh (PBG)
Flights will be suspended from tomorrow, Wednesday, April 1st, and are anticipated to remain so until May 4th. Prior to the pandemic, Spirit had been pushing to expand services in the New York area, having firmed up a huge order for 100 new Airbus aircraft at the start of the year.
The company released a statement carried by NBC which read,
“We will complete these adjustments by mid-week and anticipate them lasting at least through May 4, 2020. Taking care of our Guests and Team Members continues to be our number one priority as we navigate these unprecedented times. Guests booked on these flights will receive emails notifying them of the change and explaining their options.”
According to 15News, the airline is planning to send out emails to passengers regarding how to get back flight credit and rebook their trips. The airline has urged people not to attempt to contact it directly, as it is already sagging under the weight of increased enquiries due to the uncertainty around travel right now.
For cancellations due to travel restrictions: https://t.co/tcoJRRIliD
For all other changes or cancellations: https://t.co/NNLGO2Uxf0
For any additional help: https://t.co/GqFOLO9dHr pic.twitter.com/BPPSPiKnDV
— Spirit Airlines (@SpiritAirlines) March 18, 2020
US carriers across the board are parking hundreds of jets across the nation as travel demand sinks to its lowest ebb in history. Some are even considering consolidating flights between themselves in order to become more efficient.
Are you affected by Spirit’s cancellations? Let us know in the comments.