Officials with the Tallahassee Airport announced via social media that SkyWest, operating as United Airlines, will discontinue service to various markets across the country, including Tallahassee, after October 1.
United Airlines announced the addition of daily direct flights to Houston from Tallahassee International Airport in June, 2020.
The statement noted that while the airline industry has been impacted globally by the pandemic, Tallahassee continues to see the demand for air travel rebound locally and ” we remain focused on expanding service options for our customers.”
The latest passenger report by Tallahassee Reports indicated that June 2021 traffic was approximately 90% of the pre-pandemic June traffic in 2019. In addition, passenger traffic at the Tallahassee airport has increased in each of the last four months.
Other markets impacted by United’s decision included San Angelo, Texas. The cancellation of service there was attributed to the current worldwide pilot shortage along with with major industry occurrences.
San Angelo officials said: The San Angelo to Houston route has not met market expectations for passenger load factors. Upcoming ticket sales through September are not projected to be profitable enough for SkyWest Airlines, the operating company of United Express Airlines in San Angelo. SkyWest representatives said they have had to withdraw services from several airports of our size around the nation, including many in Texas.
It was also noted that a rise in early retirement in 2020 caused major airlines to hire a significant number of pilots from the regional carriers, leaving smaller communities across the country underserved.