United is cutting 3 routes and leaving 2 cities indefinitely as small markets continue to suffer post-pandemic — see the full list

United Embraer 145. Austin Deppe/Shutterstock
United Airlines is suspending 3 routes and leaving 2 cities indefinitely in its latest network adjustment.
The airline will no longer fly to Texarkana, Texas, or Flagstaff, Arizona this fall.
United is also retiring its short-haul route between Los Angeles and San Diego after having flown it for 40 years.
United Airlines is once again removing cities from its regional network.
On Tuesday, United confirmed to Insider that it was cutting three routes and leaving two cities indefinitely. The airline is also ending the service between Los Angeles and San Diego, which it has been flying for 40 years, according to The Points Guy.
Here are the details:
Flights between Texarkana, Texas and Houston will end on September 6th.
Flights between Flagstaff, Arizona and Denver end October 30.
Flights between Los Angeles and San Diego will end on October 30.
The airline flew from Houston to Texarkana and from Denver to Flagstaff, but United's departure means both cities will only have American Airlines commercial routes. The Texas-based airline flies from Dallas/Fort Worth to Texarkana and from Dallas/Fort Worth and Phoenix to Flagstaff.
"We made the difficult decision to end service to two cities this fall -- Flagstaff and Texarkana -- and have already begun working with customers on alternative plans," United told Insider.
Flights to San Diego will continue to be served from other United hubs, including Denver, Newark, Washington DC, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco, according to the airline.
United's decision to discontinue Texarkana is particularly interesting given that the service only began in February and regional airline CommutAir is operating the flight on United's behalf. The route, which is flown once a day on an Embraer 145 jet, was an experiment funded by the city's local airport authority, according to TPG.
Specifically, the airport received $884,722 from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Small Community Air Service Development Program to get the new service operational.
The service was supposed to run for a year but low bookings forced United to end the route five months early, according to local news channel KSLA.
However, the outlet noted that since the service began in Texarkana, the airline has seen four months of growth in passenger numbers and the airport even saw its parking lot fill up for the first time in its history.
Texarkana Regional Airport Director Paul Mehrlich told KSLA he was disappointed that United is leaving the airport, but said: "We know this was a business decision and we appreciate United's willingness to support us in a difficult one." Time to give it a chance."
However, Mehrlich said there may still be an opportunity to expand its American service or even welcome new operators.
“It is very unfortunate that United are leaving TXK (Texarkana). However, we will continue to strengthen our partnership with American Airlines and aggressively look at opportunities to create opportunities to add more destinations and potentially airlines," he said.
This isn't the first time United have dropped small cities. In November, the airline announced it would exit 11 markets, cut another 14 in December, and then close 17 more in February.
Small markets have become a frequent casualty of the pandemic, with United, American and Delta Air Lines all wiping out regional networks over the past year due to a combination of low demand, high operating costs and staff shortages. American and United have both grounded 100 regional jets because they simply don't have enough pilots to fly them.
Henry Harteveldt, travel analyst and president of the Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider in November that airlines don't have a "civic responsibility" to serve small cities.
“After the most financially brutal 18 months the global airline industry has seen due to the COVID pandemic, airlines will look to markets that they believe will give them an advantage, but if a city is not profitable, it will cut it," he said at the time.
Read the original article on Business Insider

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