Coronavirus May Prompt NE Ohio Air Service Cuts

Cuts in airline service in Northeast Ohio may be coming in the wake of fears of a spreading coronavirus.

United Airlines, which serves Cleveland Hopkins Airport and Akron-Canton Airport, said this week that it will reduce its domestic flight scheduled by 10 percent in April.

JetBlue, which also serves Hopkins, also has announced service reductions and other carriers are expected to follow suit.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that it was not yet known if Hopkins would lose any flights.

United is the largest carrier at Hopkins operating about 25 percent of its flights. From Cleveland United flies to such destinations as New York, Washington, Chicago, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Los Angeles, Denver and San Francisco.

JetBlue flies from Cleveland to Boston and Fort Lauderdale.

From Akron-Canton United offers service via its United Express brand to Newark and Chicago.

United plans to place the flight cuts into its reservations network on Saturday.

It also plans to cut international travel by 20 percent but does not have any international flights from Hopkins.

The Plain Dealer said Hopkins officials reported not yet having been notified about any pending flight cuts.

United has said it will not drop any destinations but is expected to reduce the frequency of service on some routes and make changes to seasonable services.

Coronvirus concerns have depressed airline travel and many carriers are seeking to stimulate travel by temporarily suspending travel change fees and in some cases lowering fares.

The International Air Transportation Association said on Thursday that coronavirus concerns could lead to a loss of between $63 billion and $113 billion in global airline revenue.

Akron-Canton airport officials have said that in response to the coronavirus it has beefed its cleaning and public health activities.

This includes more frequent sanitizing of surfaces and using a stronger, bleach-based solution to disinfect bathrooms and other surfaces, including door handles used by employees and touch pads used to enter secure areas.

Akron Metro RTA also has stepped up its cleaning activities at its downtown Akron transit center that is used by 4,000 to 5,000 daily.

Workers are more frequently applying disinfectant to door handles and surfaces in restrooms.

Metro RTA said it has a stockpile of cleaning supplies on hand as part of its preparedness protocol.

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