Last week United sadly announced that they were de-hubbing Cleveland (CLE) and yesterday they detailed their exit strategy by month:
- April – Hartford, Conn.; Burlington, Vt.; Manchester, N.H.; Madison, Wis.; Oklahoma City; Philadelphia; Providence; Raleigh/Durham; and Montreal
- May – Nashville, Charlotte, Minneapolis and Louisville
- June – Atlanta; Austin; Bradford, DuBois, Erie, Franklin, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pa.; Columbus; Dayton; Flint and Grand Rapids, Mich.; Greenville/Spartanburg, N.C.; Indianapolis; Buffalo, Jamestown, Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y.; Parkersburg, W.Va.; Phoenix; Richmond, Va.; and Toronto.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer adds the following:
However, Bradford, DuBois, Franklin, Jamestown and Parkersburg are “essential air service” destinations, towns where flights are subsidized by the Department of Transportation as part of a federal program to serve rural communities across the country that otherwise wouldn’t have scheduled air service. That means that United’s decision to quit those flights needs a DOT signoff. Hopkins spokeswoman Jackie Mayo said the airport is evaluating the impact of the flight reductions on all airport projects, including plans to spend about $57 million to buy Airport Fast Park and Park Place, two lots on Snow Road that are served with shuttle buses to the terminal about a mile away. “Given the recent nature of the announcement and the complexity of many of our projects and initiatives, no determination has been made as to a change in direction relevant to our projects at this point,” Mayo said in an email. Except for the flight to Phoenix, the non-stops that United is cutting were flown by regional jets and turboprops, mostly 50-seaters that are uneconomical to operate. United last week also cited a shortage of pilots for regional airlines as one reason for its Cleveland downsizing. Average daily departures on United regional planes at Hopkins will decline from 174 to 47.
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