The decision comes after the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from travelling within the country for 14 days.
"The situation in New York and New Jersey worsens. You are on the front lines of this crisis at our airports and onboard out aircraft, providing an essential service to these communities and our customers", Hart’s words read, as quoted by NBC. The flights will not be resumed for at least three weeks.
On Saturday, the US state of New York recorded its largest daily increase in new COVID-19 cases as 10,841 positive tests were reported, with the death toll also rising by 630, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. The total number of cases reported in the state since the start of the outbreak has now jumped to 113,704 and the COVID-19 death toll in the state is currently at 3,565. About 15,905 people are now receiving treatment for the disease in hospitals, and 4,126 of those are currently in intensive care units.
As of 4 April, the number of coronavirus cases nationwide has reached 277,205, with the death toll standing at almost 6,600, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention data shows. According to the Johns Hopkins University dashboard, the US has registered nearly 302,000 cases with over 8,000 fatalities. More than 14,000 patients have recovered.