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American Airlines to suspend flights to 15 US cities amid funding debate

American Airlines to suspend flights to 15 US cities amid funding debate
© Greg Nash

American Airlines has announced plans to suspend flights to 15 cities as Congress continues to mull its next coronavirus stimulus package.  

The suspensions go into effect in early October, when the payroll aid allocated to airlines in the March CARES Act expires. American received $5.8 billion in payroll assistance.

Congress has for weeks been negotiating whether to grant U.S. airlines another $25 billion in payroll assistance. 

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“The airline will continue to re-assess plans for these and other markets as an extension of the Payroll Support Program remains under deliberation,” American said in a statement. “The full, updated October schedule will be released Aug. 29, and American anticipates releasing its updated November schedule by late-September.”

American will halt flights to Del Rio, Texas; Dubuque, Iowa; Florence, S.C.; Greenville, N.C.; Huntington, W.Va.; Joplin, Mo.; Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich.; Lake Charles, La.; New Haven, Conn.; New Windsor, N.Y.; Roswell, N.M.; Sioux City, Iowa; Springfield, Ill.; Stillwater, Okla., and Williamsport, Pa., starting Oct. 7.

American had been preparing to cut service to as many as 30 cities, CNBC reported last week.

The news comes as the hospitality and travel industry has faced a sustained blow amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to several foreign and domestic travel advisories. The industry has lost over $330 billion in revenue since the beginning of March, according to an August report from the U.S. Travel Association.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong 15 Senate Republicans pledge to oppose lifting earmark ban It's not 'woketivism,' it's good business MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday expressed doubts that Republicans and Democrats would be able to break the stalemate despite general bipartisan support for another stimulus bill.