Posts Tagged ‘regional jets’

Flights to Nowhere

May 5, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has all but halted air travel in the United States. Airlines have parked hundreds of planes as bookings have fallen by more than 90 percent since March.

Industry observers and even some airline executives have predicted the road to recovery will be long and slow. Some predict once the pandemic has passed that airlines will be smaller and employ fewer people.

How long it will take for air travel to recover remains to be seen, but following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it took two years before air travel rebounded to what it was before the attacks.

In the meantime scenes such as these shown here at Cleveland Hopkins Airport of parked planes with nowhere to fly will be common.

United Airlines has a maintenance base in Cleveland and thus is using Hopkins to store jets removed from active service.

Todd Dillon made these images last Sunday. He spotted the jets on Saturday while traveling to the unofficial Akron Railroad Club Dave McKay Day outing in Berea and returned the next day to document them.

Most of these planes are parked near the dormant Concourse D at Hopkins, which has been out of service since United closed its Cleveland hub in 2014.

Concourse D had largely been used for United Express flights using regional jet equipment.

Most of the jets visible in these images are Boeing 737 aircraft but a host of Embraer regional jets can be seen lined up beyond the nose of the 737 in the foreground.

Photographs by Todd Dillon

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.