While airlines around the world and in the United States have drastically cut their international flights for the foreseeable future in a bid to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, complying with countries' strict travel restrictions at the same time, many US-based carriers have trimmed their domestic flight schedules as well.
The latest carrier jumping on the flight schedule-cutting bandwagon is Spirit Airlines. The South Florida-based ultra low-cost carrier is suspending all flights to and from the New York region in entirety as the coronavirus pandemic continues to unleash its wrath with the death toll in New York state alone surpassing 1,200 as of time of writing.
The suspension of Spirit Airlines' New York-area flights will take place beginning April 1 - this is not an April Fool's joke. Spirit Airlines is hoping for these flights to resume on May 4. But of course, with the rapidly evolving situation, nobody knows for sure when flights to and from the New York region will return.
In case you were wondering, the affected airports include: Newark Liberty (EWR) in New Jersey; New York LaGuardia (LGA); Plattsburgh (PBG) and Niagara Falls (IAG) in New York; and Hartford (BDL) in Connecticut. Spirit Airlines' decision to suspend flights to and from the three states follows the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) advisory against non-essential travel to these states.
On another note, to ease the pressure on increasingly overwhelmed hospitals in the New York region, the US Navy ship Comfort has been deployed as a hospital ship dedicated to treating non-coronavirus patients, such as those in need of critical care and surgery. The Comfort was an oil tanker in its previous life.
As of time of writing, the United States has become the country with the most number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, with figures in excess of 163,000. The US death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately climbed past 3,000. For those who don't already know, President Trump suggested that coronavirus testing is no longer an issue in the United States though governors on the ground disagreed. Go figure.