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FORT WORTH — American Airlines is not planning to return to three airports in the Northeastern U.S. if the federal government doesn't approve an additional stimulus package for the country's airline industry.


Spokeswoman Nichelle Tait said American Airlines had decided to cancel service indefinitely to Tweed New Haven Airport in Connecticut, New York Stewart Airport north of New York City, and Williamsport Regional Airport in central Pennsylvania.

“These flights were initially suspended in October as we waited for [federal] support but are not financially viable routes for the foreseeable future; thus, we have made the difficult decision to cancel service to these markets indefinitely,” Tait said in an emailed statement.

American Airlines announced in August that it would pull service from as many as 15 smaller airports where traffic had dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic, a move was seen by some as exerting pressure on lawmakers to come through with an extension of the $25 billion payroll support program that helped keep airlines afloat from March to September.

But Congress didn’t grant more airline support and American pulled service to a handful of cities, including several that weren’t served by any other carrier.

Now American has said it won’t return to three airports while it waits to make decisions on others.

New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania are in the region where airline traffic has dropped the most during the pandemic. American Airlines is operating only a handful of flights each day out of New York’s JFK and LaGuardia Airports, formerly two of the busiest hubs in the world.

The director of the Tweed New Haven Airport said the airfield would emerge “better” and “stronger.”

“We’re confident that the work our team is doing behind the scenes will enable HVN to play a positive role in the economic development of our community as the industry and country recover from a global crisis,” executive director Sean Scanlon said in a statement. “We look forward to flying together in the friendly skies soon.”

American Airlines was the only carrier serving Tweed New Haven, and a banner on the airport’s website reads, “No scheduled service until further notice.”

Other airports, such as Roswell, N.M., were able to persuade American to keep service for the time being, and others were given more time while American applies to the U.S. Department of Transportation for approval to drop service to cities under a federal grant program.

American was also the only airline serving Williamsport Regional Airport in Pennsylvania, about a 90-minute drive from the next-nearest airport, in Scranton.

Tait said that there were no changes to the other cities American had targeted for service cuts but that “we’re always evaluating our network based on supply and demand.”#

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