Posts Tagged ‘Delta Air Lines’

New Airline Launches at CAK on Saturday

June 25, 2021

A new airline will launch service Saturday at Akron-Canton Airport.

Breeze Airways will commence Saturday-only service between Tampa and Akron-Canton.

The flights will operate with Embraer 195 regional jet equipment, arriving at CAK at 5:30 p.m. and departing at 6 p.m.

Tampa will be one of three cities that Breeze plans to serve from Akron-Canton.

Starting July 7, Breeze will begin service on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday to Charleston, South Carolina; and on July 15 it will inaugurate service to New Orleans on Thursday and Sunday.

The Charleston and New Orleans flights will use Embraer 190 regional jets. Breeze plans to add additional flights from Akron-Canton to New Orleans on Wednesdays during November and December.

Charleston flights are scheduled to arrive at CAK at 12:10 p.m. and depart at 12:40 p.m. New Orleans flights are scheduled to arrive at 10:55 a.m. and depart at 11:25 a.m.

Breeze is a startup carrier that began in late May and was founded by David Neeleman, who is a founder or co-founder of five airlines, including JetBlue.

Akron-Canton will be one of 16 airports being served by Breeze and the sixth to join the network.

Neeleman said 95 percent of Breeze routes currently lack non-stop airline service.

Based in Salt Lake City, Breeze is focusing on providing service from underserved airport to Charleston, New Orleans, Tampa, and Norfolk, Virginia.

Breeze is counting heavily on vacation travel although Neeleman said business travelers could become part of its market in the future.

“Our competition is the couch,” Neeleman said. There are opportunities for people to see new places.”

Neeleman believes high fares and lack of service have discouraged some people from traveling. Breeze hopes to counter that with low fares, destinations to which people want to travel, and kindness.

Breeze also will launch service from Columbus in July to Hartford, Connecticut; Norfolk; Charleston, New Orleans and Tampa.

Akron-Canton officials hope Breeze will enable the airport to bounce back from revenue and passenger losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa Dalpiaz, the airport vice president of marketing, said that in 2020 the airport lost $3 million.

Before the pandemic the airport was handling 2,300 passengers a day but that fell to a low of 60 passengers a day. It has since risen to 1,652 passengers per day.

Akron-Canton also been hindered by the loss of service by Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air. All three have elected to focus their Northeast Ohio flights at nearby Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Still serving Akron-Canton are Spirit Airlines with less than daily year-around flights to Orlando and seasonal flights to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida.

American Eagle flies to Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Washington (Reagan National) while United Express flies to Chicago (O’Hare) and Washington (Dulles). Flights to Houston and New York (LaGuardia) that were dropped during the pandemic have yet to return.

Also missing from Akron-Canton is Delta Air Lines, which suspended its flights to Atlanta in May 2020.

Dalpiaz said Delta dropped its flights to Akron-Canton because of the loss of business travel during the pandemic.

“It’s something that we’re not giving up hope on and we know that corporate travel will be back and so we’re keeping in contact with Delta,” she said.

Akron-Canton officials said they are working with area legislators and JobsOhio to provide local and state dollars to attract airline service.

Thus far local governments and organizations have pledged a collective $250,000 to be used to lure new or restored airline service at Akron-Canton. The state has offered additional support.

Airport officials said the coming of Breeze was a result of those efforts.

In an unrelated development, the Federal Aviation Administration recently awarded Ohio airports more than $2.2 million in economic relief from the COVID-19 pandemic through the Airport Coronavirus Relief Program.

The recipients were Cleveland-Hopkins International, $1.48 million; Columbus Regional Airport Authority, $893,548; James M Cox Dayton International, $181,143; Akron-Canton Regional, $87,307; Rickenbacker International, $32,951; and Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, $26,603.

Spirit Airlines also has announced that it will launch service between Cleveland and Miami on Nov. 17.

The carrier has not yet announced flight times for that service. Spirit also flies from Cleveland to the nearby Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, where it is the largest carrier.

The Cleveland-Miami route also is served by American and Frontier airlines.

Spirit said it will link Miami with 30 destinations, including 12 airports in the Caribbean and South America.

CAK Hopes to Lure Delta Back With $1M Incentive Fund

October 24, 2020

Akron-Canton Airport is banking on a $1 million incentive fund to lure Delta Air Lines into reinstating flights to Atlanta.

The fund was started with a grant of $80,000 from JobsOhio. The rest of the money is being provided by local organizations, businesses and units of government.

Federal law prohibits airports from directly subsidizing air service, but they can provide financial support for such things as marketing and waive certain fees normally charged to airlines in return for providing service.

In this case, Akron-Canton would guarantee revenue for Delta should the route not generate a profit on its own, said Lisa Dalpiaz, the airport’s director of marketing and air service development.

Delta suspended its service between Akron-Canton and Atlanta in May and recently indicated that the suspension will remain indefinitely.

Airport officials say getting back service to Atlanta is important because it is the world’s busiest airport and thus offers numerous connections.

The efforts to woo Delta into resuming service come at a time when Akron-Canton has suffered massive losses of passengers due to the CVOID-19 pandemic.

The airport located in Green has also seen its number of flights and non-stop destinations drop significantly.

The latest federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics figures show Akron-Canton handled 16,002 passengers in August, a 76 percent drop from what it handled in August 2019.

“Smaller regional airports are having a more difficult time,” said Ren Camacho, president and CEO of Akron-Canton,

“The airlines are getting smaller, and when they get smaller they tend to focus on their hub activities, those routes that will be as profitable as possible for them.”

In recent months Akron-Canton Airport has averaged seven flights per day this month to Charlotte, Philadelphia and Chicago O’Hare airports.

Spirit Airlines provides twice weekly service to Orlando, although that service was suspended for a few weeks last month.

Airport officials expect United Airlines through its United Express partner to begin service in December to Washington Dulles International Airport.

They also expect Spirit to resume its seasonal service to Fort Myers and Tampa, and to increase the number of weekly Orlando flights.

But no dates have been announced for resumption of service to Washington Reagan National, New York LaGuardia or Houston.

United had announced earlier this year that its service to Dulles would replace the existing service to Newark. Both Dulles and Newark are major hubs for United.

Camacho said service to Atlanta is the route that many in the Akron-Canton region want back the most based on recent surveys of travelers who use the airport.

He said a committee with representatives from JobsOhio and the community are considering approaching Delta later this year to try to persuade it to resume the Atlanta service in spring 2021.

“We understand they have a business decision to make,” Camacho said. “We have an opportunity to try to mitigate some of that risk. We want to see them back.”

A Delta spokesman declined to say whether a financial incentive might lure the carrier into returning service to Akron-Canton.

“At this time, we do not have a date to resume service to Akron-Canton. We are continuously monitoring demand trends and are rebuilding our network as demand resumes,” he said.

At the time that Delta suspended service to Akron-Canton last spring it said the market would be adequately served by flights to Hopkins Airport.

Akron-Canton officials protested that, saying airlines that accepts emergency aid under the CARES Act were banned from dropping service to individual markets.

However, the U.S. Department of Transportation sided with Delta in its contention that Akron-Canton is part of the larger Cleveland air service market.

Camacho still disagrees with that, saying,”our economy, the greater Akron- Canton economy, is separate from Cleveland’s.”

During November, Akron-Canton expects to see 46 flights a week compared with the 152 it hosted in November 2019.

Capacity for the month is projected to be 3,016 seats per week compared with 9.987 in November 2019.

Delta CAK Suspension Remains Indefinite

October 21, 2020

Akron-Canton is among 16 airports where Delta Air Lines said that service will remain suspended for an indefinite period of time.

Delta had flown between Akron-Canton and Atlanta mid May when it suspended the service due to reduced travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The carrier said it has no set plans to return to Akron-Canton. Other cities on the indefinite suspension list include Erie, Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Flint, Michigan.

“We are continuously monitoring demand trends and are rebuilding our network as demand resumes,”said Delta spokesperson Drake Castañeda.

Flights are typically set a month ahead of time, which means that in theory Delta could return to any of the 16 suspended airports no earlier than December.

But industry observers believe the indefinite nature of the suspensions reflect uncertainty in the air travel market.

Airlines are expected in November to have 40 percent fewer flights than they did that month a year ago.

Delta in particular expects to fly about 40 percent to 45 percent of the flights it operated in the fourth quarter of 2019, which is three points more than the three months that ended in September.

Akron-Canton still has service to Philadelphia and Charlotte by American Eagle, and to Chicago O’Hare Airport by United Express.

Spirit Airlines operates less-than-daily service to Orlando although it plans to resume daily service on the Orlando route later this year.

Still suspended are flights from Akron-Canton to New York LaGuardia, Washington Dulles, Washington Reagan National, and Houston Bush Intercontinental airports.

American Eagle service to Chicago O’Hare also remains suspended.

Delta Retires Last ‘Mad Dog’ Jets

June 5, 2020

The crew of a Delta Air Lines flight 1114 from Atlanta has deployed the thrust reversers as their MD88 lands on runway 28R at John Glenn Columbus Airport in Dec. 7, 2019.

A chapter in U.S. aviation history closed this week when Delta Air Lines operated its last flights using the MD88 and MD90 jetliners.

The last flight of a “Mad Dog” was Delta flight 88 from Washington Dulles International Airport to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Tuesday morning.

The plane received a water cannon salute at both airports, which marked the last scheduled domestic passenger flight of a McDonnell Douglas designed and produced jetliner in the United States in daily service.

Flight 88 was the last of a handful of Delta flights using aircraft from the MD80 family of jetliners to land in Atlanta on the morning of June 2.

The last MD90 arrived from Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport as Delta flight 90.

Other last MD88 flights landed in Atlanta from Hartford, Pittsburgh, Sarasota, Norfolk, Richmond and Raleigh-Durham.

Over the course of 24 hours earlier this week Delta flew “Mad Dogs on several routes from Atlanta, including to Columbus and Indianapolis on Monday.

The last MD88 to serve John Glenn Columbus Airport landed at 10:58 p.m. on Monday and departed without passengers at 10:55 a.m. on Tuesday for Blytheville, Arkansas, where Delta is storing its retired MD88 and MD90 aircraft.

Delta was the last U.S. airline to fly the MD80 family of aircraft. American Airlines retired the last of its MD80s in September 2019 while Allegiant Air retired its MD80s in November 2018.

The Mad Dogs of all three carriers were regular users of Northeast Ohio airports in recent years.

An American MD80 flew from Cleveland to Dallas-Fort Worth on Sept. 4, 20190, the last day of operation by that carrier of an MD80.

Delta flew MD88 aircraft to Cleveland from Atlanta until earlier this year. During the COVID-19 pandemic Delta began using Boeing 717s on the Cleveland-Atlanta route in place of MD88s.

Until about a year ago, Delta also flew MD88 aircraft between Akron-Canton Airport and Atlanta.

At one time, Delta had four flights a day between CAK and Atlanta with MD88 equipment.

That was later trimmed to three daily roundtrips. Delta then began using regional jets on two of those three roundtrips.

The MD80 traces its heritage to the 1965 introduction of the DC-9 jetliner by Douglas Corporation for which Delta was the launch customer.

The MD80 was a stretched version of the DC-9 that was rebranded as MD80 after Douglas merged with McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in 1967.

The Boeing 717 is a smaller member of the MD80 family and was initially designated the MD95 until being rebranded after McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing in 1997.

The MD88 and MD90 once were the backbone of Delta’s domestic flight network with the carrier operating 120 MD88s and 65 MD90s.

Delta had planned to retire both aircraft at the end of 2020, but accelerated their retirements due to a dramatic drop in airline traffic during the pandemic.

Delta, like most carriers, has grounded much of its fleet, parking half of the 1,316 planes used in Delta mainline and Delta connection service.

Aviation authorities said that during the 33-year operating life of the MD80 the fleet of 1,191 aircraft built flew 750 million passengers and logged 12 million hours in the air.

Delta once operated 900 MD88 flights a day and flew them to nearly every U.S. Airport that it served.

The last Delta MD88 flight was a subdued affair. Due to social distancing restrictions just 84 of the 149 seats aboard Delta flight 88 were filled.

Balloons and banners decorated the departure gate at Dulles and passengers and crew posed for a group portrait with most of them wearing masks.

The flight used aircraft N900DE, which was the 100th MD88 to be delivered to Delta.

It landed in Atlanta at 9:55 a.m. and later that day departed for Blytheville.

The Mad Dog moniker was applied in part because of the plane’s model initials and because pilots said it took off from the runway like a rocket or a mad dog.

NE Ohio Service Shrinks to a Hard Core

April 20, 2020

If you are holding a ticket for a commercial airline flight from Cleveland Hopkins or Akron-Canton airports you better not be late for your flight because it might be the only one of the day going where you’re going.

A check of the flight tracking website flightaware.com  found that airline service at Northeast Ohio has withered to small numbers of flights.

On Saturday 27 commercial passenger flights landed at Hopkins and five landed at Akron-Canton.

Both figures are far below the traffic levels that each airport would have seen in early March before travel restrictions and stay at home orders seeking to stop the spread of the coronavirus kicked in and air travel fell a staggering 95 percent.

There might have been even fewer flights were it not for conditions imposed in a federal package of $50 billion in emergency aid to the nation’s airlines that they offer a skeletal level of service.

A review of flights that landed at Hopkins on Saturday, Friday and Thursday of last week found that much of that service was once or twice daily from hub airports including Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, Chicago Midway, Nashville, Philadelphia, Detroit, Houston, Washington Dulles, Charlotte, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix, Denver and Detroit.

This represents a return to the hub and spoke days when major carriers primarily fed passengers to their fortress hubs with little point-to-point service.

On Saturday just one flight landed in Cleveland from O’Hare while two from O’Hare landed at Akron-Canton.

No flights landed in Cleveland on Saturday from Boston, New York-Newark, Dallas-Fort Worth or Orlando.

Over the three-day period, just one flight arrived in Cleveland from Boston and one from Newark.

There were no flights from New York LaGuardia, New York Kennedy or Washington’s Reagan-National airport.

On Friday, 22 flights landed at Hopkins while 27 landed on Thursday.

Over the three-day period, the most flights to Hopkins from any one city was four on Thursday from Chicago O’Hare.

Hopkins saw service from 23 airports over the three-day period, but 12 of those did not have service on all three days.

Service from Florida has been dramatically curtailed with no flights from Miami over the three days, two flights from Orlando (on Friday and Thursday), and single flights from Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Fort Myers and Sarasota.

Service from other cities included two flights from St. Louis and Milwaukee respectively. There was one flight from Baltimore.

A check of airline service at Akron-Canton Airport between Monday and Saturday found there was daily service from Chicago O’Hare, Atlanta and Philadelphia. There was service from Charlotte on all days except Thursday.

One most days, there was just one flight from all of those cities.

The total number of flights landing at CAK was four on Monday, seven on Tuesday, five on Wednesday, four on Thursday, six on Friday and five on Saturday.

The most flights that landed at Akron-Canton from any one airport was three on Friday from Charlotte.

Service from Atlanta was a single flight on all six days, a Delta Air Lines 737 that arrives between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

That same aircraft departs the next morning between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. for Atlanta.

That Delta is using a larger jet on the route is surprising. On many routes diminished bookings have led carriers to assign regional jets with smaller seating capacities that are flown under contract by another airline.

Even before the pandemic, the vast majority of flights to CAK operated in this manner under such brands as American Eagle and United Express flying on behalf of American Airlines and United Airlines respectively.

Service from Philadelphia to Akron-Canton was one flight a day except on Tuesday when two flights operated.

Charlotte service has ranged from one flight (Saturday, Wednesday and Monday) to three flights on Tuesday.

Spirit Airlines has suspended service to Akron-Canton, apparently using the rational that because it is close to Cleveland it is still serving CAK through Hopkins.

But Spirit was rebuffed last week by the U.S. Department of Transportation for an exemption that would have allowed it to temporarily suspend service to Cleveland.

Air Service to New York Suspended

April 15, 2020

Airline service between Northeast Ohio and New York City has been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All three carriers flying between Cleveland and New York’s three major airports, American, Delta and United, have dropped that service temporarily.

On a normal day the three carriers operate more than 20 flights a day.

Service also has been suspended between Akron-Canton Airport and New York.

American had flown once day between CAK and LaGuardia and United had flown to Newark Liberty International Airport.

However, United had planned to shift its Newark flights from Akron-Canton to Washington Dulles Airport in May.

Travelers can still fly to New York, but will need to make a connection en route.

United has indicated it will resume service between Cleveland and Newark in May while Delta plans to restore service to LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports in early June.

American plans to restart flights between Cleveland and LaGuardia in early June.

At the same time American plans to resume service between Cleveland and Reagan Washington National Airport that has been suspended during the pandemic.

In a related development, the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced that Northeast Ohio airports will receive emergency aid from the CARES Act.

Hopkins Airport is to receive $46.3 million while Akron-Canton Airport will get $7.6 million.

Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport will receive $157,000.

Other northern Ohio airports and the aid they receive include Akron Fulton Airport, $69,000; Erie-Ottawa Airport, $69,000; Lorain County Airport, $69,000; Kent State University Airport, $30,000; Portage County Airport, $30,000’ and Put-in-Bay Airport, $20,000.

In the meantime Hopkins Airport is allowing passengers to park in all of its parking facilities for free. It is unclear how long the free parking will last.

Flight Cancellations Widespread at NE Ohio Airports

March 28, 2020

Airline service in Northeast Ohio this week has been widely affected by a slew of cancellations of scheduled flights.

Delta Airlines has not flown a flight to the Akron-Canton Airport from Atlanta since Wednesday afternoon.

On Friday, Delta operated just two of its eight scheduled flights to Cleveland from Atlanta, both of which arriving in the evening.

Spirit Airlines operated its lone flight of the day to Cleveland from Atlanta.

The Atlanta-based Delta normally flies three times a day between Atlanta and Akron-Canton.

A check of the flight tracking website Flightaware.com, showed that Delta planned to operate its first flight of the day on Saturday from Atlanta to CAK as well as its last flight. However, the mid-afternoon flight has been canceled.

The fact an airline has posted a flight as scheduled to operate doesn’t mean that it will.

Cancellations have been a near-daily occurrence for some flights. Delta’s last flight of the day to Akron-Canton, last operated on Monday night.

The flight is flown with a Boeing 737 and is scheduled to arrive after 11 p.m. It departs early the next morning.

A cursory check of Flightaware.com for Friday flights to CAK found that three of the six scheduled flights from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport were canceled.

The two scheduled flights from Philadelphia to Akron-Canton operated, but four of five flights scheduled from Philly to Cleveland were canceled.

All flights from Charlotte to CAK operated but one flight scheduled for Saturday has been scrapped.

The sole flight to Akron-Canton from Washington’s Reagan National Airport was canceled on Friday but two flights operated on Thursday. One flight is scheduled to operate on Saturday.

Both Newark-CAK flights on Friday were canceled but the lone New York LaGuardia flight to CAK has flown as scheduled the past three days.

Spirit flights between CAK and Orlando, Tampa and Fort Myers have operated as scheduled.

Flight cancellations have been widespread at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

As of Saturday morning Delta has canceled three of its six scheduled flights on Saturday to Cleveland from Atlanta.

American Airlines scrapped two of its three flights to Cleveland from Dallas-Fort Worth on Friday.

Six of the 12 flights to Cleveland from LaGuardia Airport were canceled.

A check of flights to other major business cities found that three Cleveland-Boston flights were canceled including two of the four scheduled to be flown by JetBlue.

Three of the four flights between Cleveland and New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport operated while two of seven Newark flights were canceled.

Four of the seven flights between Cleveland Reagan National were canceled with no arrivals after 12:13 p.m.

United Airlines canceled all four of its flights from Cleveland to Washington Dulles Airport on Friday and doesn’t plan to fly any or those flights on Saturday.

Of the 14 flights scheduled between Cleveland and Chicago O’Hare, eight were canceled on Friday.

Southwest Airlines canceled two of its three Chicago Midway Airport flights on Friday.

Most service between Cleveland and Florida operated as scheduled on Friday.

That included all four flights from Fort Lauderdale, two of three Miami flights, six of seven Orlando flights, and three of five Fort Myers flights.

Service to Cleveland from Florida is provided by United, American, Spirit and Frontier.

However, Allegiant Air canceled its flight from Punta Gorda, Florida, on Friday and earlier in the week canceled its Wednesday flight from Clearwater.

Allegiant was scheduled to operate to Clearwater on Saturday from Cleveland but has canceled that flight.

One of three Cleveland-Las Vegas flights was canceled on Friday. Two of five Cleveland-Denver flights operated on Friday while Four of seven flights between Cleveland and Charlotte were canceled.

Flight Cuts Coming to CAK in April

March 25, 2020

Significant airline service cuts are coming to Akron-Canton Airport next month when the number of available seats will be slashed by 25 percent or 2,500 seats per month.

United Airlines will suspend service to Houston, end service to Newark and delay the inauguration of service to Washington Dulles Airport.

American Airlines will reduce it daily except Saturday single flight to New York’s LaGuardia Airport to once a weekly operation.

Spirit Airlines plans to end a month early its season seasonal service to Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida, but will continue flying to Orlando.

Delta Air Lines plans to change the equipment used on one of its flights to Atlanta from a Boeing 737 to a regional jet with fewer seats. Delta also will reduce flights to twice daily on Saturdays but service will continue to be  three times a day on other days.

All of the service at Akron-Canton aside from that provided by Spirit will be handled by regional jets flown by contract carriers flying under such brands as Delta Connection, United Express and American Eagle.

A news release issued by the airport said eight of the 13 routes flown from Akron-Canton have seen a reduction of seats or a suspension of service.

The airport said it expects to lose up to $1.8 million over the next three months because of a decrease in passengers due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

During week of March 16 the airport handled 50 percent fewer passengers than it did during the same week in 2019.

United expects to reinstate service to Houston on Oct. 1 but has not said when it will begin flying to Dulles. It had earlier announced it was ending service to Newark in May when it planned to launch the Dulles route.

Airport President Ren Camacho said the air service landscape at CAK is likely to look much different once the pandemic has subsided.

“That’s why we are working closely with our corporate partners and leisure travel agencies to relay pertinent travel information to our airlines to help shape that future,” he said in a statement.

Camacho said airport officials are exploring ways to make considerations for airlines, rental cars, advertising partners and others while keeping airport operations running.

Airline traffic at Akron-Canton had been slumping long before the COVID-19 outbreak.

In 2019, the airport saw 834,365 passengers a drop of 9.7 percent from 923,802 in 2018.

In the past five years, airline traffic at CAK has fallen by 44 percent from 1.5 million in 2015.

Much of that traffic loss has been due to airlines pulling service out of Akron-Canton in favor of moving it in many cases to Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Such carriers as Southwest, Frontier and Allegiant gave up serving CAK altogether.

The traffic downturn comes as the airport is working to complete by fall a $34 million gate modernization and expansion that includes a two-level, 41,600-square-foot concourse.

The falling airline traffic has cut into revenues earned from parking, concessions, and passenger facilities fees.

To offset that loss, the airport is eyeing new revenue streams, including leasing unused parking lots for uses other than airport travelers.

Camacho said thus far none of the airport’s 48 workers have been laid off.

Air traffic has also dropped at Hopkins Airport with passenger counts less than half of what they would normally be in March.

Hopkins has thus far avoided wide scale route cuts but flight reductions are expected in April as the carriers implement dramatic flight slashing plans in an effort to save cash.

In the interim many flights are being canceled on some days due to reduced demand.

One flight to New York’s LaGuardia Airport reportedly left last week left with one passenger aboard.

With fewer passengers to handle, security at Hopkins has been consolidated into one checkpoint and some retail outlets and restaurants have closed temporarily.

United Airlines has parked several grounded jets at Hopkins following system schedule reductions.

Airline Service Cuts Start to Reach CAK, CLE

March 21, 2020

Airline service cuts have come to Northeast Ohio with additional service reductions slated for Cleveland Hopkins and Akron-Canton Airports.

United Airlines has canceled one of its two daily roundtrips between Cleveland and Los Angeles and between Cleveland and San Francisco.

The carrier also plans in April to suspend its service between Houston and Akron-Canton.

Delta Airlines said it will suspend routes linking Cleveland and Hartford, Connecticut, and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

Spirit Airlines is suspending service to Boston from Cleveland.

With United poised to reduce its capacity in half in April and May and Delta saying it will reduce its capacity by 70 percent and park half of its fleet, additional Northeast Ohio flight cuts are likely.

Delta expects to lose $2 billion in March compared to what it earned last year in that month and to see even worse losses in April.

United said it expects March revenue to be $1.5 billion lower than it was in March 2019.

American Airlines has said it will ground 55,000 flights in April and park 450 planes.

The carrier said its domestic flight schedule will be thinned by 30 percent in April with further reductions expected in May.

One airline that serves Cleveland and Akron-Canton will go out of business on April 1.

Trans States Airlines, which operates between both airports and Chicago O’Hare under the United Express Brand, said it will shut down because the flight cuts being implemented by United will be deeper than it expected and the curtailment of United Express service came faster than it anticipated.

The Plain Dealer reported this week that Cleveland airports officials said air traffic there could drop by as much as 50 percent and those flights still operating could be only 20 to 30 percent full.

Hopkins officials expect the flight service reductions to continue into the summer.

“United has indicated it’s only a temporary suspension and once demand picks back up in the industry, we’ll see it back in the network,” CAK airport spokeswoman Lisa Dalpiaz told the Plain Dealer in reference to the loss of service to Houston.

The Delta website said that even after it curtails its domestic flight schedules it will continue to offer connectivity with its reduced schedule.

In the meantime, Hopkins has closed its Brown Lot and any vehicles currently parked there will be able to exit without charge.

The Brown Lot Shuttle was to stop operating at 10 a.m. on March 21. Passengers needing to reach the lot to return to their vehicle are being advised to use a CLE Taxi.

There will be no charge for that service and it is located on the south end of the arrivals level near bag claim 11.

From Akron-Canton, Delta has three daily flights to Atlanta. Aside from Houston, United flies from CAK to Chicago and Newark, New Jersey.

American flies from CAK to Chicago, Charlotte, Philadelphia, New York and Washington.

Spirit Airlines has service from CAK to Orlando, Tampa and Fort Myers. However, the service to the latter two points is seasonal and would be ending before summer even in normal circumstances. The Orlando route operates year around.

One Hopkins official said the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is worse that the hit airports and airlines took following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

How much airports and airlines are hurt by the pandemic will hinge on how long the pandemic lasts and how soon the economy recovers.

Hopkins plans to continue working on its new airport master plan, which is expected to recommend major capital improvements.

Northeast Ohio Air Service Watch: United Route Restructuring Hits Cleveland, Akron-Canton Airports

January 18, 2020

Changes are coming to airline service in Northeast Ohio including a restructuring of United Airlines service at Cleveland Hopkins and Akron-Canton airports.

Making headlines this week was the announcement that United will cease flying from Hopkins Airport to New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Reagan Washington National Airport on March 29.

Instead the carrier will boost capacity on flights between Cleveland and Washington Dulles and Newark Liberty airports.

A United spokesman told The Plain Dealer there would be no net decrease in total seats to the New York City and Washington areas, which suggests that United may replace some regional jets now flying those routes with larger aircraft and/or increase the number of flights.

The spokesman also said there would be an increase in premium seats available to travelers flying to Newark and Dulles from Cleveland.

A similar change is coming to Akron-Canton on May 8 when United launches four daily non-stop flights to Dulles.

At the same time it will drop its existing twice daily flights between Newark and Akron-Canton.

In the past two years United has been bolstering its service from Dulles Airport by adding destinations and shifting some connecting flight to Dulles from its Newark hub.

United plans to launch a shuttle service between Reagan National and Newark and some observers think the ending of service from Cleveland to Reagan National is being done to give some of those Washington landing slots to the shuttle operation.

United will offer after late March 12 non-stop destinations from Cleveland. As recently as 2014 it flew to 59 airports from Hopkins.

The Akron-Canton flights to Dulles will operate with regional jet equipment under the United Express brand.

All of United’s flights between Hopkins and Reagan National and LaGuardia are operated with regional jets under the United Express brand.

American and Delta also fly between Cleveland and LaGuardia with regional jet equipment under the American Eagle and Delta Connect brands respectively.

American Eagle also has service between Cleveland and Reagan National.

Other developments affecting air service in Northeast Ohio include the assignment of new 50-seat regional jet aircraft by United Express to its route between Akron-Canton and Chicago O’Hare Airport.

The Bombardier CRJ-500 jets have more legroom and increased storage space.

United said the CRJ-550 is the only regional jet with first-class seating and such amenities as space for every passenger to bring a roller bag on board and a self-serve refreshment center for first class passengers featuring snacks and beverages.

The aircraft also has Wi-Fi service in flight. CRJ-550 aircraft feature 10 first-class, 20 economy-plus and 20 regular economy seats.

A CRJ-550 is now being used on one to two of the four daily roundtrips between O’Hare and Akron-Canton. By late spring all four flights will feature CRJ-550 equipment.

United also flies the CRJ-550 on routes linking Chicago with Cincinnati and Columbus, and between the two Ohio cities and Newark.

Also at Akron-Canton, Delta earlier this month began operating mainline jets on two of its three daily flights to Atlanta.

A late morning flight to Akron-Canton uses a Boeing 717 jet while the late night flight uses a 737. The mid-day flight uses a regional jet.

During the Christmas travel season all of the flights between Akron-Canton and Atlanta had been covered by regional jets.

Spirit Airlines late last year resumed seasonal service between Akron-Canton and Tampa and Fort Myers, Florida.

Those flights, as well as Spirit’s year-around service to Orlando, do not operate daily and use Airbus 319 jets.

Hopkins Airport will see the addition of a new carrier on May 20 when Sun Country Airlines begins flying between Cleveland and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

JetBlue has announced it will increase its service between Cleveland and Boston at an unspecified date in 2020.

United plans to add a weekend flight between Cleveland and Tampa in the spring.