Airline Service Increasing at Hopkins, CAK

Air travel is picking up and new airline service is coming to Northeast Ohio.

United Airlines said this week it will launch summer service from Cleveland Hopkins Airport to Pensacola, Florida; Portland, Maine; and Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina.

The service will operate with Canadair 550 regional jets flown under the United Express brand.

All of the flights will operate three days a week and start on May 27.

United is also ramping up its United Express service at Akron-Canton Airport later this spring by reinstating non-stop service to Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and increasing service to Chicago (O’Hare) and Washington (Dulles).

United also plans to restart service from Cleveland to San Francisco and Los Angeles in May while American Airlines through its American Eagle partner will revive non-stop service between Akron-Canton and Washington (Reagan National).

Most airline schedule expansions that have been announced thus far have focused on developing leisure travel, which has shown signs of bouncing back from the COVID-19 pandemic more robustly than business travel.

United also said it will launch less-than-daily summer service from Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and St. Louis. under its United Express brand.

The new United Express service from Columbus will fly to Portland, Hilton Head and Charleston.

In a related development, Hopkins officials said the airport recently saw its busiest weekend in more than a year fueled by travelers heading out on spring vacations.

On the weekend of March 5-8, Hopkins handled 56,500 passengers although that was 30 percent fewer than the 81,000 passengers who traveled during the same weekend in 2020 just before the pandemic was declared.

On the weekend of March 19-21 this year the Transportation Security Administration reported screening 4.38 million travelers.

That was the busiest weekend in more than a year but still 40 percent below the 7.35 million screened during the same weekend in 2019.

Hopkins Director Robert Kennedy said the airport’s traffic is 49 percent of what it was two years ago. That is a little better than the national average of 44 percent.

Airport officials expect more busy weekends through early April. Spring travel tends to peak the weekends before, during and after Easter, which this year is April 4.

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