United Airlines is dropping 8 more US cities from its route map

Nov 8, 2021

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The news isn’t getting any better for small U.S. cities, which continue to bear the brunt of airline pandemic-era network adjustments.

United Airlines once again took an aggressive approach to pruning unprofitable regional routes, this week slashing eight small domestic cities from its route map, as first seen in Cirium schedules and later confirmed by the airline.

The move comes on the heels of three additional city cuts, which were loaded last week.

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United will end service to the following destinations on Jan. 3, with the full details in the table below.

City Airport Code Operating Airline Equipment
Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Michigan AZO SkyWest CRJ-200
College Station, Texas CLL CommutAir Embraer 145
Columbia, Missouri COU Air Wisconsin CRJ-200
Mosinee, Wisconsin CWA Air Wisconsin CRJ-200
Evansville, Indiana EVV Air Wisconsin CRJ-200
Killeen–Fort Hood, Texas GRK SkyWest CRJ-200
Lansing, Michigan LAN SkyWest CRJ-200
Monroe, Louisiana MLU CommutAir Embraer 145

The Chicago-based carrier confirmed the cuts to TPG on Sunday afternoon with the following statement:

Due to changes in the long-term sustainability of several of our regional routes, United will end service to eight cities at the start of the new year. We will work with impacted customers to help them make alternate plans.

United Express served each of the eight cities through its regional affiliates with one route from either its Houston or Chicago hubs.

When United leaves these markets, it’ll cede its traffic to two of its largest competitors: American and Delta. Each of the eight cities is served by at least one of these carriers. Additionally, Allegiant operates flights from Evansville, Indiana, to Orlando/Sanford (SFB).

These eight markets join the three other cities that United cut in last week’s schedule update, namely Pierre, South Dakota (PIR); Twin Falls, Idaho (TWF); and Watertown, South Dakota (ATY).

United’s latest city cuts (Map courtesy of Cirium)

The move to pull out of these 11 cities comes as the pandemic continues to have an outsized effect on small cities without enough demand to warrant jet service.

For example, late last year, American Airlines suspended service to several smaller cities. Flights resumed at some of those airports, only to be cut again in places like Williamsport, Pennsylvania (IPT) — which lost airline service altogether as of Oct. 1. Recently, Delta filed plans to pull out of Durango, Colorado (DRO), while United made headlines for ending service to Rochester, Minnesota (RST).

In addition to the 11 small U.S. cities getting axed, United is shuffling its service to another market, Wilmington, North Carolina (ILM). The carrier is pulling its daily flights there from Chicago.

It will instead operate a new, twice-daily route there from Newark operated by GoJet Airlines aboard the premium-heavy CRJ-550, outfitted with 10 first-class recliners, 20 extra-legroom economy seats and 20 standard ones. The plane even features a walk-up bar for first-class passengers.

Finally, United confirmed that it’s extending its suspension to Winnipeg, Canada (YWG), which has been in place since March 2020.

The airline was previously planning to restore service to the capital of the Manitoba province in March 2022 from both Chicago and Denver. However, those plans have now been scrapped — there’s currently no restart date on the schedule.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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