United Airlines is cutting service to several of the smaller markets where it flies, ending regional routes in 11 locations at the start of the year.
Locations where United will no longer fly include:
- College Station, Texas
- Columbia, Missouri
- Evansville, Indiana
- Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Michigan
- Killeen/Fort Hood, Texas
- Lansing, Michigan
- Monroe, Louisiana
- Mosinee, Wisconsin
- Pierre, South Dakota
- Twin Falls, Idaho
- Watertown, South Dakota
The impacted towns are taking the news hard.
“United, currently serving twice-daily flights from EVV to Chicago, will exit the Evansville market due to limited resources and staffing impacts across the airline system,” Evansville Regional Airport said in a statement.
Airport officials said United claimed that flying into the city wasn’t sustainable.
“United officials recognized EVV’s efforts throughout the 7-year partnership, and said the exit is a result of the economics of the airline’s current system, coupled with the need to reduce overall capacity,” airport officials said.
“EVV is one of approximately 15 airports currently impacted by United’s recent termination announcements, as the airline works to stabilize the regional markets it serves,” it continued. “An additional 79 small and non-hub airports are also projected to experience United capacity cuts in [early] 2022.”
For residents of College Station, the news is a tough blow since the town is home to Texas A&M, part of the powerful SEC college football conference.
“I think we need to find out what was the reasoning behind this to see if there’s something that we can cure to get back into the marketplace,” Glen Brewer, president and CEO of Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce, told KBTX.
United said the choice to leave College Station was economic.
“Due to changes in the long-term sustainability of this particular route, United will end service to College Station at the start of the new year,” United told KBTX.
“I think it’s important to note that many different factors determine a successful route, and our decisions include careful evaluation of our overall network, fleet, resources at our regional partners, and yields,” said United. “With that in mind, we have determined that this particular route is not sustainable for the long-term.”
Almost all of the cities being dropped by United would fly to a single location — either Houston, Chicago, or Denver — for connections to other flights.
In some cases, other major airlines are flying into the cities. But in other cases, United’s exit is leaving these cities with only small regional carriers.
“The airline industry across the country and around the world continues to experience impacts from the COVID pandemic as well as disruptions to their labor market,” Bill Carberry, manager of Magic Valley Regional Airport in Twin Falls, told the Idaho Business Journal.
“We have worked directly with the airline service providers to explore solutions to the current changes, but we have, unfortunately, not been able to find solutions to the challenges they face.”
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