DOT Statement on Adjustment to Service Obligations
Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued Final Order 2020-6-2, finalizing its tentative decisions, as announced in Order 2020-5-5, to allow air carriers to incrementally adjust their service obligations under the Department’s Order 2020-4-2. The Department is taking this action in light of ongoing challenges faced by air carriers due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. The Department used a systematic process to allow covered carriers to reduce the number of points they must serve as a proportion of their total service obligation, subject to certain restrictions. Covered carriers were able to exempt from their service obligation up to five percent of the points on their service obligation lists, or five points, whichever is greater. DOT adjudicated these requests and published its tentative decisions for public comment before finalizing the point exemptions. In implementing this action, the Department ensured that every community that was served by a covered carrier prior to March 1, 2020, would continue to receive service from at least one covered carrier, so that no point would lose all of its air service. The exemption process in Order 2020 4 2 will continue to be available to air carriers to address other facts and circumstances.