United Airlines plans major cuts at Cleveland Hopkins Airport

United Airlines plans major cuts at Cleveland Hopkins Airport

It has been confirmed that United Airlines will begin making cuts at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in April.

Mayor Frank Jackson is scheduled to hold a press conference Monday, Feb. 3 at 11 a.m. at City Hall, to discuss Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and air service by United Airlines.

United Airlines says that they have made the decision to "substantially reduce flying from Cleveland".  The reduction will be made in one-third increments beginning in April and through June.

United reports that the hub in Cleveland hasn't been profitable for over a decade and has lost tens of millions of dollars in recent years.

The airline plans to start reducing their average daily departures from Cleveland by around 60%.

A source familiar with the United Airlines situation at Hopkins says the cutbacks "are deep" and "We're still a desirable location."

A mid level source within United says since the merger with Continental, the company has been "a train wreck."

United Airlines employees received two letters on Saturday, February 1, after news outlets began to report on the company's plans at Hopkins.

United Airlines sent a letter its employees regarding cutbacks.  READ IT HERE.

The CEO of ExpressJet also sent a letter to employees regarding what direction the company is headed in.  READ IT HERE.

19 Action News Reporter Paul Orlousky received a statement from Governor Kasich on United's plans:

"Ever since the merger everyone knew this was a risk, which is why economic development officials for the city, the region and the state have discussed options with United for keeping its presence in Cleveland.  This is a disappointing decision and one we disagree with, but a point that United stressed is that demand for air travel from Cleveland remains strong and that they're maintaining virtually all of their flights to and from major markets.  The challenge is to regional flights, as connecting fliers are seeking other, larger hubs en route to other destinations.

"Hopefully this situation can be reversed over time and we're going to continue to work with United to try to eventually do that.  We've already set in motion outreach to the impacted employees and we'll have a team on the ground on Monday to start connecting them with the right state support and benefits.  The airport has made some major steps forward in recent years and the state, the city and the region will continue to work together to leverage that progress to attract other carriers so that Cleveland has access to even more air travel options."

In October 2012 United Airlines said that they were committed to being at Hopkins Airport even though their deal expired.  That deal kept them in Cleveland for two years following their merger with Continental.  That year customers experienced a price hike which the airline said was necessary to cover operating and fuel costs.

In September 2013 United Airlines suffered a loss when they honored tickets mistakenly offered from $0 to $10 on their website.

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