The Transportation Division stated late Friday that it will tentatively enable 15 airways to cease flights to about 60 principally small and midsize cities, although not one of the locations stand to lose service solely.The locations are principally in secondary markets the place airways have stated there’s little demand for flights or that may very well be served by different close by airports.American Airways, for instance, can be allowed to cease flying to an airport in Worcester, Mass., which is just a little over an hour’s drive from Boston Logan Worldwide Airport. It could even be allowed to cease flying to Aspen and Eagle, Colo.Delta Air Traces would have the ability to cease service to Erie, Pa.; Flint, Mich.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Williston, N.D., amongst others. United Airways would have the ability to cease flights to Fairbanks, Alaska; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Myrtle Seaside, S.C.; and others.Not one of the cities can be left with out service, although, as a result of the company granted exemptions provided that different airways nonetheless flew to them, it stated. The Transportation Division additionally stated it reserved the fitting to revoke any choice if it resulted in “inadequate capacity or connectivity” to a vacation spot.The choice is rooted within the federal stimulus handed in late March, often known as the CARES Act. Below that legislation, any airline that acquired federal help, together with the entire main carriers, is required to keep up a minimal variety of flights to places that it had served earlier than the pandemic erased nearly all demand for air journey. However the legislation additionally allowed the Transportation Division to grant exceptions, which it has finished commonly for weeks.The company stated it will evaluation any objections or feedback on its choice filed earlier than 5 p.m. subsequent Thursday.The outbreak has created a devastating disaster for the aviation trade, worse than the affect of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist assaults or the monetary disaster a decade in the past. Demand for flights began to plummet in March. By mid-April, airways on common have been transporting about 95 p.c fewer passengers than they have been the 12 months earlier than.This week, a number of airways stated that they had began to see some restoration in demand, however warned that it may very well be fleeting.“We have seen a little bit of a bounce off the bottom, but my caution is to not draw too much in the way of conclusions,” Paul Jacobson, Delta’s chief finance officer, stated on Tuesday.On Thursday, the Transportation Safety Administration screened fewer than 320,000 passengers and airline and airport employees at its safety checkpoints in airports nationwide, or fewer than 12 p.c of these screened a 12 months in the past.Most consultants and trade executives say they anticipate it to take a number of years earlier than the trade sees demand return to pre-pandemic ranges.