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American Airlines says goodbye to shortest domestic route crown with new flexibility to drop cities

American Airlines can say goodbye to the title of operating the shortest domestic route among major U.S. carriers. American, along with 14 other airlines, will be able to suspend flights to 75 cities across the country as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep most would-be travelers out of the skies.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) handed out the exemptions to air service requirements under the government’s coronavirus aid package, known as the CARES Act, late on May 22. While no city will lose air service entirely, the move allows airlines to operate fewer money-losing flights even after accepting federal payroll assistance.

The exemptions allow airlines to suspend flights until Sept. 30. After that, restrictions under the CARES Act expire allowing carriers to cancel routes at will if they choose.

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