CARES Act Air Service Exemptions for Spirit Airlines and JetBlue Airlines
Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation is acting on two requests for exemption from the CARES Act airline service obligations announced in Order 2020-4-2. This is the second round of requests filed by Spirit Airlines and JetBlue. Spirit Airlines and JetBlue will not be obligated to provide service at certain large hubs or focus city airports that have abundant service by large air carriers using the airports to provide connecting services. This grant of relief is in line with the Department’s most recent action in the case of Hyannis Air Service d/b/a Cape Air. The Department is also taking action on the deferred portion of Spirit’s initial application, namely the carrier’s request to temporarily suspend service to two U.S. Virgin Island points, Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted. Spirit will be required to continue serving to these covered points in accordance with Order 2020-4-2. The Department’s actions require the airlines to continue operating a minimum number of flights to meet critical transportation needs during the COVID-19 public health emergency, but at the same time provide relief from financial and operational burdens, responding to the needs of public officials at the state, territorial, and local levels. The requests and the Notices of Action Taken can be found on www.regulations.gov by searching “Docket-DOT-OST-2020-0037.” The Department continues to review additional requests for exemption as well as the comments being submitted in the docket. Media inquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.