United Airlines Announces It Is No Longer Flying to 11 U.S. Cities

by Shelby Scott

In the latest of COVID-19 inconveniences, United Airlines has announced they will no longer travel to several United States cities. The decision comes as the airlines have seen diminished patronage within these cities and smaller communities following the pandemic.

According to yahoo!, United Airlines plans to drop 11 U.S. cities from its itinerary. Interestingly, all of the cities dropped from the airline’s network lie, broadly, in the central region of the United States. However, they extend throughout the country’s longitudinal region. See the full list below:

  • Kalamazoo/Battlecreek, Michigan
  • College Station, Texas
  • Columbia, Missouri
  • Mosinee, Wisconsin
  • Killeen-Fort Hood, TX
  • Lansing, MI
  • Monroe, Louisiana
  • Peirre, South Dakota
  • Watertown, SD
  • Twin Falls, Idaho

The outlet detailed airlines like United have been forced to modify schedules and routes to falling demand in smaller communities. Essentially, sending flights to locations with little demand has caused great strain on company profits overall. The fact is especially as the U.S. continues to see a labor shortage. Most importantly, the above routes will remain cut from United indefinitely.

Instead, United revealed to Insider they plan to work with customers who have negatively been impacted by the decision. Specifically, they stated, “we have determined these particular routes are not sustainable for the long-term.”

The company cited available network, fleet, resources, and yield.

Others who’ve taken similar action include Delta, American Airlines, and SkyWest.

Airlines Cancel Thousands of Flights In Recent Weeks

The most recent adjustments have been attributed largely to supply and demand. While the airlines previously had the capability of flying to these locations, minimal demand diminishes that profit. On the other hand, other airlines across the country have had to cancel thousands of flights due to staffing shortages.

Just over the Halloween weekend alone, American Airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights. Following the cancelations, the airline cited a combination of staffing shortages and bad weather. Additionally, the Monday following Halloween weekend saw the airline cancel another 200 flights.

The detriment comes as the pandemic caused the company to lay off and furlough thousands of workers while others opted for early retirement. Now, as travel picks up, the airline continues to struggle to attract new employees.

Additionally, Southwest saw mass cancelations earlier in October, though the airline did not cite staffing shortages. Following nearly a quarter of its total flights canceled, Southwest instead attributed the disruption to inclement weather and “unexpected air traffic control issues.”

Interestingly, however, investigations during the Southwest October cancelations saw no evidence of air traffic control staffing shortages, furthering the mystery surrounding the company’s reason for cancelations.

Regardless, as the United States has recently reopened its borders to international flights based on individual vaccine statuses and Americans become even more willing to fly, we’re sure to see airlines continue to struggle in the foreseeable future.