United to Dehub Cleveland, Reduce Flying by 60%

By Paul Riegler on 1 February 2014
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A United Airlines jet landing at JFK

A United Airlines jet landing at JFK

In a letter to employees, United Airlines said it will substantially reduce flying from Cleveland and will cut back on flights that allow fliers to connect through Cleveland to other destinations.

United’s hub in Cleveland hasn’t been profitable for over a decade and the airline said it has sustained tens of millions of dollars in annual losses in recent years.  The airline will slash daily flights from 199 today to 72 in June.

Plans call for the airline to serve 20 destinations from Cleveland with non-stop flights including flights to United hubs and Boston, Fort Lauderdale, New York (LaGuardia), Tampa, and Washington, D.C. (Reagan National).  These flights will cover roughly 58% of current Cleveland-originating non-stop flights that are operated today.

The Chicago-based airline  also said it had to advance the timing of the flight reductions because of reduced pilot availability at the airline’s regional partners, citing new federal regulations in this area.

Cleveland was a hub for Continental Airlines when it merged with United in 2010.  Industry consolidation and mergers over the past decade have impacted numerous other hubs in cities including Cincinnati, Memphis, Salt Lake City, and St. Louis.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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