A Delta Airlines passenger jet approaches to land at LAX in Los Angeles

As operating costs increase and pilot shortages become more challenging to manage, the airline industry is making service cuts that are affecting several airports.

As many as 61 airports have seen American, Delta, and United drop their service since the pandemic started despite customer demand for flights increasing in the U.S., according to Ailevon Pacific Aviation Consulting.

The pandemic riddled the airline industry, bringing it to a near halt as flight demand decreased to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now that travel is resuming as COVID restrictions ease, Americans are looking to book vacations, but cancelations and delays are causing chaos for many travelers.

The airlines are dealing with how to ramp up their operations after massive cutbacks saw staff reductions, especially pilots, to curb costs amid the height of the pandemic and travel lows. Now Delta, American, and United are looking to scale up their operations while bringing on trained pilots as quickly as they can and keeping expenses to a minimum.

As a result, the three legacy airlines have cut their flight services significantly, citing staffing limitations and underperformance from the routes. American has dropped 14 airports from its schedule, while Delta cut 13 airports and United withdrew from 33 airports in the U.S., according to Ailevon Pacific's most recent Weekly Airline Schedule Update.

Flight cuts from American, since April 2020, back when the pandemic first hit the industry, according to the report, include:

  • Oakland, California
  • New Haven, Connecticut
  • Dubuque, Iowa
  • Sioux City, Iowa
  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • Meridian, Mississippi
  • Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Joplin, Missouri
  • Islip, New York
  • Ithaca, New York
  • Stewart, New York
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Cheyenne, Wyoming

Delta's cuts since April 2020 included airports such as:

  • Fort Smith, Arkansas
  • McKinleyville, California
  • Santa Barbara, California
  • Durango, Colorado
  • Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Peoria, Illinois
  • Flint, Michigan
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Stewart, New York
  • New Bern, North Carolina
  • Akron, Ohio
  • Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

United saw service cut to these airports also since April 2020, Ailevon Pacific said.

  • Texarkana, Arkansas
  • Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Santa Rosa, California
  • Stockton, California
  • Alamosa, Colorado
  • Destin, Florida
  • Tallahassee, Florida
  • Twin Falls, Idaho
  • Evansville, Indiana
  • Paducah, Kentucky
  • Alexandria, Louisiana
  • Monroe, Louisiana
  • Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Lansing, Michigan
  • Rochester, Minnesota
  • Columbia, Missouri
  • Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
  • Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • Kearney, Nebraska
  • Ogdensburg, New York
  • Plattsburgh, New York
  • Pierre, South Dakota
  • Watertown, South Dakota
  • Abilene, Texas
  • College Station, Texas
  • Killeen, Texas
  • San Angelo, Texas
  • Shenandoah, Virginia
  • Everett, Washington
  • Clarksburg, West Virginia
  • Lewisburg, West Virginia
  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  • Mosinee, Wisconsin