United Airlines axing its hub in Cleveland

Cleveland is the latest airline hub to get sent to the chopping block. United Airlines will downgrade its hub operation there, axing the city’s hub status in a move that will mean major flight cutbacks and the loss of about 470 jobs. TV station WKYC of Cleveland confirmed the move Saturday evening, saying United CEO Jeff Smisek revealed the news in a Saturday letter to United’s Cleveland employees. LOCAL REPORT: United Airlines will pull its hub from Cleveland (WKYC TV) CLEVELAND.COM: Clevelanders express anger towards United Airlines on social media In the memo, Smisek says “we have made the difficult decision to substantially reduce our flying from Cleveland. We will make this reduction in stages beginning in April.” “Our hub in Cleveland hasn’t been profitable for over a decade, and has generated tens of millions of dollars of annual losses in recent years,” Smisek adds in the letter. “We simply cannot continue to bear these losses.” FULL TEXT: United CEO’s letter on cutting the Cleveland hub Smisek said United would reduce its number of daily Cleveland flights by about 60%, keeping most of its “mainline” flights at Cleveland but slashing about 70% of those flown by the company’s United Express regional partners. Once all of the cuts are phased in by June, United’s Cleveland schedule will drop from about 199 daily departures to 72. United will still operate seven mainland U.S. hubs without Cleveland. They are Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Houston Bush Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark Liberty, San Francisco and Washington… [Read full story]

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