United Airlines to Drop 8 Routes as Smaller Markets Struggle

November 8, 2021

United Airlines is dropping 8 unprofitable routes as the post-pandemic shows not everything is returning to its 2019 'normal':

United will end service to the following destinations on Jan. 3, with the full details in the table below.
CityAirport CodeOperating AirlineEquipment
Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, MichiganAZOSkyWestCRJ-200
College Station, TexasCLLCommutAirEmbraer 145
Columbia, MissouriCOUAir WisconsinCRJ-200
Mosinee, WisconsinCWAAir WisconsinCRJ-200
Evansville, IndianaEVVAir WisconsinCRJ-200
Killeen–Fort Hood, TexasGRKSkyWestCRJ-200
Lansing, MichiganLANSkyWestCRJ-200
Monroe, LouisianaMLUCommutAirEmbraer 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.

The slashed routes are regional flights served by United's affiliate United Express with each cut coming from either the carrier's 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).

Although United has moved quickly to add flights in major markets, 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.

It's still difficult to gauge the long-term effects of air travel in smaller markets but it is very likely that more cuts will come from all the major U.S. carriers.

Business travel still lags from 2019 by at least 35%.

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