After hinting that it was considering a complete shutdown over the weekend, President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday suggested that it would stop short of stopping domestic flights within the U.S.
The travel world has shrunk to a fraction of its former self as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. The administration’s European travel ban has suspended nearly all flights to Europe for at least the next month and paused or reduced many flights to Asia. Dozens of countries have shut out travelers entirely, further cutting plane traffic. And U.S. airlines have been bracing for the next blow while waiting for a taxpayer-funded bailout.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the administration wants to avoid a full stoppage of domestic flights.
“We want to maintain, for critical travel, the right to have domestic travel,” Mnuchin said.
Still, federal officials are urging all Americans to avoid traveling unless absolutely necessary. We’re asking you to do the same – that’s why we’re only sending out cheap flight deals for travel from June and onward.
“Enjoy your home-stay. We have to get this problem fixed,” Trump said. “I would recommend that (Americans) just enjoy their living room.”
As airlines are hurting due to dropping travel demand, the Trump administration and lawmakers are reportedly considering a $58 billion bailout for the industry, according to Bloomberg.