As airlines grapple with minimal flights and largely empty aircraft nationwide, Santa Fe Regional Airport still has a combined three daily departures to Dallas and Denver.

United Airlines has one daily nonstop departure from Santa Fe to Denver at 9 a.m.

United in mid-April sought an exemption from the U.S. Department of Transportation to temporarily cut service between Santa Fe and Denver, but the exemption was denied.

Airlines had to agree to maintain at least minimal service on all of their routes to get $50 billion in federal CARES Act money that was set aside for airlines — or seek an exemption for specific routes.

American Airlines maintains two daily nonstop departures to Dallas at 7:39 a.m. and 12:49 p.m.

American’s nonstop to Phoenix “is still in the books,” but flights are typically canceled because most days there are no passengers in either city, airport manager Mark Baca said.

The daily average passenger count at the Santa Fe airport is now around 35 after being as low as five to 10 at the start of the economic shutdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, said Stuart C. Kirk, executive director of the Northern New Mexico Air Alliance, which promotes economic development in Santa Fe, Taos and Los Alamos by enhancing use of Santa Fe Regional Airport.

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