United Airlines may cut Chattanooga Airport service amid COVID-19 pandemic

Staff file photo by Tim Barber / United Airlines Pilot Josh Key does a pre-flight check of the CRJ 200 airplane prior to a flight from Chattanooga to Washington-Dulles Airport.

United Airlines may suspend service at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport during the sharp downturn in air traffic due to the coronavirus.

The airport was notified by the U.S. Department of Transportation that Chattanooga is on a list of cities to which the airline may suspend service, said Lovell Field spokesman Albert Waterhouse on Wednesday.

But the airline, which flies round trips between Chattanooga and Chicago, hasn't indicated if or when service might be suspended, he said.

DOT has granted tentative approval to 15 airlines nationally to temporarily halt service to 75 U.S. airports, Waterhouse said.

The Chattanooga Airport reported this month that boardings were down nearly 95% in April over a year ago at Lovell Field. Daily departures by the airlines had plunged from 28 to as few as five on some days, airport officials said.