Lawmakers pushed Trump Admin. to deny airline requests to cut scheduled service in Central Massachusetts
Massachusetts (May 27, 2020) - Massachusetts U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Congressman James P. McGovern (MA-02), today commended the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) decision to preserve partial airline service at Worcester Regional Airport, after both American Airlines and JetBlue Airways requested exemptions from their service obligations at this regional transportation hub. Last week, the Massachusetts lawmakers urged DOT to protect service at the airport in Worcester.
“Worcester Regional Airport connects Central Massachusetts to the country,” said Senator Markey, Senator Warren, and Congressman McGovern. “If the airlines had been allowed to abandon this site entirely, the airport’s ability to serve the region’s residents and commerce would have been imperiled both now and when the coronavirus subsides. We’re pleased that the DOT listened to our call and is protecting basic airline service at this essential hub. Moving forward, we’ll work to restore full service to the region as soon as possible.”
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorizes the DOT to require air carriers maintain a minimum level of scheduled service as a condition for receiving emergency financial aid. After learning that American Airlines and JetBlue requested an exemption from this requirement at Worcester Regional Airport, Senator Markey, Senator Warren, and Representative McGovern wrote to DOT, urging the agency to maintain robust airline services for the residents of Central Massachusetts. Although DOT approved JetBlue’s request to temporarily suspend its service, the agency denied American Airlines’ exemption, ensuring that Worcester will retain partial airline services during the coronavirus pandemic.