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US airlines redirecting flights from business hubs to leisure destinations to meet pandemic demands

With the COVID-19 pandemic still lingering, major U.S. airlines are rerouting traditional flights from major business hubs to more leisurely destinations.

Some nine months after the lowest number of passenger flights were recorded around the globe, leisure travel is showing signs of a comeback.

To meet demand, United, Delta, and American airlines have all cut direct flights between major cities like New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and London.

Meanwhile, those departing from secondary cities like Boston, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis, will have more direct flights available to places like Fort Lauderdale, Fort Meyers, Orlando, and Tampa, Bloomberg reports.

“Given the lack of business demand, we’re focusing on leisure travel and providing more service for customers traveling to visit family and friends,” American Airlines’ vice president of network planning, Brian Znotins, told the outlet.

Business travel, on the other hand, is expected to be permanently curtailed, employees increasingly rely on platforms like Zoom to conduct operations. Bill Gates, for instance, has predicted that business travel will be permanently dropped by at least 50%.

The airfare prediction app Hopper forecasts that airfares will likely remain 12% cheaper through the end of summer, but those deals will only last through February.

“There’s an opportunity for travelers right now,” Scott Keyes, founder of the popular airfare search site Scott’s Cheap Flights, told Bloomberg. “Book now. Once more people are vaccinated and willing to travel, the deals are likely to dry up.”

This article originally appeared on Fox News

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