Posts Tagged ‘United Express’

NE Ohio Gets New Washington Air Service

December 21, 2020

Northeast Ohio is getting more airline service to Washington.

American Airlines plans to reinstate service from Cleveland and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport next month.

In the meantime United Airlines launched last week new service to Washington Dulles International Airport from the Akron-Canton Airport.

In both instances, the flights are operated by partner airlines flying regional jets under the American Eagle and United Express brands respectively.

Cleveland has had only sporadic service to Reagan National since March due to COVID-19 pandemic related flight reductions.

At the time the pandemic began American Eagle was flying three roundtrips a day between the two airports and planning a fourth.

The United Express service between Akron-Canton and Dulles had been scheduled to launch last May but was delayed due to the pandemic.

The service was intended to replace flights to and from Newark Liberty International Airport. The Dulles and Newark airports are both hub airports for United.

The carrier is operating a single daily roundtrip that leaves CAK in mid morning and returns in early evening.

American Eagle plans one roundtrip between Cleveland and Reagan National leaving in early morning and returning late at night. The service begins Jan. 5.

CAK Dedicates New Boarding Gate Area

November 21, 2020

Akron-Canton Airport officials conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony this week to mark the completion of a $37 million project to renovate the boarding gates area.

The renovated gate area is the centerpiece of a $115 million airport improvement program that began in 2015.

All of the airport’s gates now feature jet bridges between the terminal and aircraft.

Until this year some passengers had to walk across the tarmac to board or disembark at gates that were built in 1962 for turboprop aircraft.

Airport CEO Ren Camacho acknowledged that the project might seem unnecessarily given how much commercial passenger traffic at the airport has fallen in recent years in general and during the COVID-19 pandemic in particular.

But Camacho said the project anticipates growth opportunities that he is optimistic eventually will come.

“This project positions the airport for many years of growth and prosperity while maintaining our convenient and relaxing experience for our travelers,” he said.

Akron-Canton has seen its passenger volume fall from 1.8 million in 2012 to 834,365 last year.

Some of that decline has been attributed to airlines shifting flights from Akron-Canton to Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Southwest Airlines left Akron-Canton in 2017 while Allegiant and Frontier left around the same time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly hard on the airport with traffic falling from 39,480 in March to 3,288 in April.

Volume has since rebounded to 16,179 in September, the latest month for which figures are available.

As a reflection of the falling air traffic, Akron-Canton now has nine boarding gates whereas it once had 11.

However, Camacho said additional gates can be added if traffic were to significantly increase.

The new gate area is a two-story structure added to the south end of the terminal.

Among the amenities that have been added are increased seating capacity, charging stations, a business lounge, local artwork, kids’ play area, a room for children with sensory issues, a room for nursing mothers, a pet-relief area and improved WiFi connections.

A planned sit-down restaurant, though, remains in limbo due to the pandemic. Camacho said the restaurant may open by next summer.

In the meantime, Great Lakes Brewing, CAK Café, Royal Docks and Buckhead Grill have locations in the airport that are open and serving.

This past week saw Spirit Airlines resumes its seasonal service from Akron-Canton to Tampa and Fort Myers in Florida to supplement its existing flights to Orlando.

In mid December United Express plans to launch a daily roundtrip between Akron-Canton and Washington Dulles Airport.

That service had been set to launch last spring and replace flights to Newark but instead United dropped the Newark flights and delayed the inauguration of the Dulles flights.

United Express has yet to resume its flights to Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport and American Eagle has yet to revive service to New York (LaGuardia) and Washington (Reagan National)

But top of mind for airport officials is the continued suspension of Delta Air Line service to Atlanta.

Lisa Dalpiaz, the airport’s director of marketing and air service development, said Delta has told airport officials it wants to return to Akron-Canton but has not said when that might happen.

She said it likely will not occur until corporate business travel picks up. Delta suspended its flights to Akron-Canton last May.

“They [haven’t] pulled out and they haven’t discontinued service permanently,” Dalpiaz said.

Airport officials have proposed using a $1 million incentive fund created by Jobs Ohio and several local government units in an effort to lure Delta back to Akron-Canton.

In the meantime, Delta has removed its equipment from the airport, leading some to worry that the suspension might last a long time.

The carrier has been non-committal to resuming service to Akron-Canton, saying repeatedly it is monitoring air travel demand and rebuilding its network as demand rises.

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.

CAK Has Escaped Service Cuts Thus Far

September 9, 2020

With federal emergency aid running out on Sept. 30, airlines have been announcing service cuts and employee layoffs set to take effect in October.

Thus far Akron-Canton Airport has escaped losing service next month by any of its three carriers although officials have indicated that service to the airport remains below what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

Airport CEO Ren Camacho said service is now 15 flights a day provided by Spirit Airlines, United Express and American Eagle.

Flights are currently linking CAK with Chicago O’Hare, Orlando, Philadelphia and Charlotte.

“It’s been 20 percent of the traffic then we had before the pandemic began, so we’re averaging about anywhere between three to four hundred passengers a day where we would normally average about 2,000 passengers a day,” Camacho said.

At the depth the pandemic last spring Akron-Canton was seeing as few as 30 passengers a day.

American has announced that it will stop flying to 15 cities next month, which it serves with its American Eagle-branded partners.

None of those cities are in Ohio, but American plans to stop flying to Huntington, West Virginia; Williamsport, Pennsylvania; and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Airport officials had earlier expressed optimism that service from Akron-Canton would be reinstated this fall to New York’s LaGuardia, Washington Reagan National, Houston Bush Intercontinental and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airports.

They also expect seasonal service by Spirit to return to Tampa and Fort Myers in late fall.

It is unclear how many of those routes will be reinstated during a time when airlines are announcing widespread cuts in scheduled flights for the fall.

Airline announcements have warned of further flight cuts, which could mean Akron-Canton might lose some of the flights it has now.

Although there had been some upturn in leisure air travel during the summer that season has ended.

Security checkpoint figures released by the U.S. Transportation Security Agency show that 711,178 travelers passed through security checkpoints on a recent Monday, a decline of nearly 70 percent compared to the same day in 2019.

In an effort to stimulate travel, United, American and Delta have announced that they are temporarily suspending change fees imposed when travelers change their days of travel or switch to another flight on the same day.

Camacho said restaurant and other concessions at the airport remain open, but at reduced hours.

Akron-Canton received $7.6 million in CARES Act funding and plans to apply to over four years against projected losses of $3 million due to the pandemic.

Air Service Ticking up at Akron-Canton Airport

July 8, 2020

Two airlines serving Akron-Canton Airport added additional service this week to their existing routes.

American Eagle is ramping up service to Charlotte to as many as four roundtrips a day and adding another flight to Philadelphia.

United Express added a roundtrip to Chicago O’Hare.

Both carriers had been operating just one roundtrip a day to those destinations for the past several weeks.

Spirit Airlines has boosted its service to Orlando to daily from three times a week.

Airport officials say service is expected to increase further in August when American Eagle resumes serving Chicago O’Hare, New York LaGuardia and Washington Reagan airports.

Delta Airlines and its commuter brand Delta Connection are not expected to resume flying between Akron-Canton and Atlanta until March 2021.

Suspended service by United Express to Houston is slated to return in October and Spirit is expected to resume seasonal service to Tampa and Fort Myers in November.

United Express is projecting launching service to Washington Dulles Airport in August.

Airport CEO Ren Camacho said daily air travel through CAK had dropped to as low as 100 passengers a day compared to the normal 2,000 a day during the depths of the pandemic.

Air travel has been picking up although it is still well below normal summer levels.

Camacho said much of the increase in travel has been leisure travelers with business travel not having picked up as much.

In an unrelated development, Ultimate Air Shuttle plans to resume its service between Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport and Cincinnati Lunken Airport on July 20.

The 42-minute public charter flights operate twice daily on weekdays. It is the only scheduled commercial service at Burke.

The Cleveland-Cincinnati route is the first one bring brought by Ultimate, which is a division of Ultimate JetCharters in North Canton.

Delta Suspended CAK Service Earlier Than Planned

May 16, 2020

Delta Airlines suspended service to Akron-Canton Airport ahead of schedule this week.

The carrier had announced a suspension of its service through September between CAK and Atlanta after the last flight departed on Thursday morning.

However, the service suspension effectively began after the last flight arrived on Monday and departed on Tuesday. Flights scheduled to arrive on Tuesday and Wednesday were canceled.

That leaves service from Akron-Canton to three airports, Chicago O’Hare, served by United Express, and Philadelphia and Charlotte, served by American Eagle.

Service to Akron-Canton has settled into a pattern of three flights a day all of which arrive in the evening between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. and depart the next morning between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Delta successfully persuaded the U.S. Department of Transportation to allow it to suspend its Akron-Canton service on the basis that the CAK market is close enough to Cleveland to still be considered as being served.

The federal CARES Act that granted emergency aid to airlines during the COVID-19 pandemic requires carriers to continue to serve all of the markets they served at the time the pandemic began.

Service to Cleveland Hopkins Airport also remains at far reduced levels.

Most of the service from Cleveland is once or twice a day to connecting hubs in Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Detroit, Denver and Charlotte.

Service to New York area airports remains suspended as does service to Reagan Washington National Airport although some flights are being flown to Washington Dulles Airport.

Aside from Denver, service from Cleveland to the West remains suspended.

A handful of flights continue to operate between Cleveland and airports in Florida, most notably Orlando and Tampa.

Delta to Suspend CAK Service Through September

May 11, 2020

Delta Airlines will suspend service to Akron-Canton Airport between May 15 and Sept. 30.

The carrier said it has won U.S. Department of Transportation approval to suspend flights to CAK and nine other airports after successfully arguing that they are part of a larger market that Delta plans to continue serving from another airport within that market.

In the case of Akron-Canton the larger market is Cleveland.

Akron-Canton airport officials sought to dispute that in April, telling DOT in a letter that CAK should be considered to be its own market and not part of the Cleveland market.

“If given the option to pick either CAK or CLE – but not required by any obligation to separately serve the different markets of both, the public served by CAK will undoubtedly suffer by immediate or significantly greater loss of service with the order as written,” airport officials wrote to DOT on April 2.

The letter was referring to a clause in the CARES Act requiring airlines to serve all current markets as a condition of receiving federal emergency aid.

However, DOT ruled that airports in close proximity could be considered to be part of one market.

The CAK letter to DOT said suspending flights to CAK would cause “a real practical loss of air service,” particularly to areas south of Akron and along the Interstate Route 77 corridor.

Akron-Canton officials also expressed fear of losing service and even losing long-term viability if airlines are allowed to treat CAK as part of the Cleveland market.

Delta flies from Akron-Canton to Atlanta. Until the pandemic began, it operated three flights a day between CAK and Atlanta.

One of those flights was flown by a Boeing 737 operated by Delta while the other two flights operated with regional jet equipment flown under contract by another company using the Delta Connection brand.

At one time in the past five years, Delta operated four roundtrips a day with MD80 jets between the two airports.

In early April, service on the CAK-Atlanta route was reduced to sometimes two flights a day and then to one flight daily that arrives in late evening and returns the next morning.

On May 2 that flight transitioned from a Delta 737 flight to a regional jet Delta Connection flight.

Delta flies to more destinations from Cleveland, but since the onset of the pandemic has reduced its Cleveland service to primarily serving Atlanta.

Lisa Dalpiaz, CAK’s director of marketing and air service development, said Delta plans to resume serving Akron-Canton.

“The suspension is specifically tied to their financial situation due to the pandemic, and not on performance of the route.”

A Delta news release said the service cuts at CAK and nine other airports are due to passenger traffic being “significantly reduced.”

Delta also said it would cut its schedules by 85 percent in the second quarter of 2020.

In the meantime, Akron-Canton continues to see service, albeit at reduced levels, provided by American Airlines to Philadelphia and Charlotte, and by United Airlines to Chicago.

In recent weeks those carriers have been operating one flight a day from CAK to those destinations.

Dalpiaz said American, which serves Akron-Canton with its American Eagle brand service using regional jets, is expected to reinstate some service in July.

Before the pandemic American also flew from CAK to Reagan Washington National Airport, Chicago O’Hare Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

Akron-Canton Airport is considered essential infrastructure during the pandemic and has remained open, but it has lost 95 percent of its normal passenger traffic there.

Delta is Akron-Canton’s third largest carrier, handling 20 percent of the airport’s 835,000 passengers in 2019.

Delta is also suspending service to Chicago Midway; Oakland, Hollywood Burbank and Long Beach in California; Providence, Rhode Island; Manchester, New Hampshire; Westchester County and Stewart International in New York; and Newport News/Williamsburg in Virginia.

In an unrelated development, the Akron-Canton Airport will pay a local artist $5,000 to create a piece for a new section of terrazzo floor planned for the airport’s atrium.

Artists or teams can contact the airport administration office for project details and requirements. Proposals are due June 5 with the winner being named the next week.

The design is part of a $155,000 project to replace the atrium’s current terrazzo flooring beyond the security checkpoint.

The artwork will be within a 2,700-square-foot section of atrium floor near an existing compass and be installed in October.

The request for proposals said the artist will have the option to retain the compass or remove it.

The winning design must represent a “sense of place” to Akron and Canton.

The elements of the design should have thoughtful design, efficiency, artistic harmony, a blend of form and function and an element of wayfinding while contributing to the architectural and cultural heritage of the region including local customs, styles or cultural attitudes.

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.

CAK Service to Increase This Month

June 1, 2018

Akron-Canton Airport will get a modest boost in flights next month when American Airlines increases the number of daily flights it offers to Chicago.

Starting June 7, American will increase to three a day its flights from Akron-Canton to O’Hare International Airport.

That expansion will precede by a day the planned launch of new service by United Airlines between Akron-Canton and Houston.

Both carriers offer flights under their respective regional airline brands using regional jet equipment.

American Eagle flights to O’Hare will depart at 5:59 a.m., 12:46 p.m., and 3:14 p.m. The current flights depart at 6 a.m. and 2:36 p.m.

The carrier said that seat capacity on its flights from Akron-Canton to O’Hare and other locations will grow by 15 percent in July.

American Airlines also flies from Akron-Canton to Charlotte, North Carolina; Philadelphia, New York (LaGuardia), and Washington (Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport).

American Airlines will operate 82 flights a week from Akron-Canton, the most flights offered by any carrier at the airport.

The United Express flight to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Departure will depart at 7 a.m. and return at 10:12 p.m.

United also flies from Akron-Canton to O’Hare and Newark Liberty International Airport.

CAK Conducting National Search for CEO

May 5, 2018

Akron-Canton Airport has hired a headhunter to conduct a national search to find a new CEO.

Whoever is chosen will replace Rick McQueen, who plans to retire late this year.

The airport has hired ADK Consulting and Executive Search, a company it has used in the past to recruit managers.

The consulting firm has been talking with the airport board of trustees, reviewing past applications and assembling a community profile as part of its work.

If all goes according to plan, the applicants for the post will be narrowed to a handful of finalists by mid summer with interviews and visits to the region to begin shortly after that.

Airport officials hope to have a new CEO in position by fall who will work alongside McQueen for two or three months.

McQueen is retiring after working for the airport for 36 years. He began working there in 1982 as an accountant.

He replaced Fred Krum as airport CEO in 2009. Krum had retired after 33 years at Akron-Canton Airport, including 27 years as director.

The next airport CEO is expected to have 15 or more years of airport management experience as well as knowledge of federal, state and local laws, and Federal Aviation Administration requirements.

Officials said that whoever accepts the job might view it as a stepping stone to their next position or a forever job.

The new CEO will face the challenge of trying to reverse a downtown in boardings that has been prompted in large part by the loss of airline service at Akron-Canton and intensified competition for low-fare travelers from airlines that have ramped up their flight offerings at nearby Cleveland Hopkins Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport.

Passenger traffic at Akron-Canton fell to 1.26 million last year, a decline of 9.4 percent from the 1.40 million passengers who used the airport in 2016.

In the past two years Akron-Canton has lost Southwest Airlines and Allegiant Air. It earlier lost Frontier Airlines.

Allegiant moved its flights to Cleveland while Frontier and Southwest have been increasing their presence there.

Akron-Canton suffered another blow this year when Spirit Airlines trimmed its service to one route and ended flights to Las Vegas not long after they began.

Spirit continues to fly from Akron-Canton to Orlando once a day and plans to resume seasonal service to Fort Lauderdale and Tampa in the fall.

On the plus side, United Airlines plans to launch service in June from Akron-Canton to Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, flying one roundtrip a day with regional jet equipment under the United Express brand.