American Airlines is canceling final flights to 30 US cities

American Airlines plans to reduce flights to a maximum of 30 smaller cities in the U.S. if a federal requirement to continue these flights expires at the end of next month, said an airline official familiar with the case Thursday.

Americans agreed to serve these smaller cities as a condition of receiving $ 5.8 billion in federal aid this spring. The money and the requirement to serve these destinations will both expire September 30, unless they are extended.

The move by Americans could put more pressure on Congress and the White House to give passenger companies another $ 25 billion in labor costs. Airline and airline associations, which are struggling with a sharp drop in turnover as the pandemic went through air travel, are lobbying Congress for the money.

The American Airlines official did not provide details on which cities could lose service, but the changes could appear in schedules as soon as next week. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss planning that was not made public. American’s plans were first reported by CNBC.

In March, Congress and President Donald Trump approved up to $ 50 billion for passenger carriers, including $ 25 billion in subsidies and loans to help cover labor costs through September.

The idea was that the outbreak of viruses could slow down enough by falling for the airlines to stabilize on their own. However, American air travel has returned much slower than hoped.

After falling 95 percent in April, air travel in the U.S. remained more than 70 percent in August, compared to a year ago, according to figures from Transportation Security Administration. Combined, the nation’s four largest airlines – American, Delta, United States and Southwest – lost more than $ 10 billion in the second quarter, and the third quarter is likely to be only modestly better.

Airlines and their unions have been lobbying for the money to be included in a new round of pandemic relief to prevent layoffs in the sector until April. They have garnered support from more than half of the House members, including more than two dozen Republicans, and from more than a dozen Republican senators.

Trump spoke favorably about helping airlines when asked about the issue in a newsletter last week.

“Obviously the airline is not doing well,” he said. ‘I would certainly prefer. We can not lose our transportation system. ”