U.S. proposes minimum air service rules for airlines receiving assistance

FILE PHOTO: Delta Airlines planes and a British Airways plane (2nd L) are pictured at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, on the day Delta CEO Ed Bastian told employees he was cutting 40% of capacity in the coming months, the largest in the airline’s history, in addition to pursuing aid, in SeaTac, Washington, U.S. March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Redmond/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Transportation Department on Tuesday proposed minimum flight requirements for passenger airlines receiving aid from the government’s $50 billion grant and loan fund.

The department said air carriers that fly between cities five days a week or more would need to provide at least one flight per day five times a week between the points.

For those with fewer than one a day five times a week, they would only need to fly once per week. For cities where there are multiple airports, carriers could consolidate operations at a single airport.

The department said airlines could seek waivers for specific flights saying that “even with these reduced service levels, it may not be practicable for covered carriers to serve all points previously served.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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