United Airlines next month will resume daily service between Colorado Springs and Los Angeles and add local flights to Denver and Houston, Colorado Springs Airport officials announced Friday.
The Chicago area-based carrier suspended the Los Angeles service and reduced flights to the other two cities in late March after nearly all states imposed stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new flights will restore some of those cuts, but the local airport will still have fewer flights to all three cities than it had before the pandemic. United didn’t add any local flights to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, but added larger aircraft to some flights on both its Chicago and Denver routes.
“We look forward to enhancing and rebuilding service between Colorado Springs and four United hubs,” Ankit Gupta, United’s vice president of domestic network planning, said in a news release from the Colorado Springs Airport. “This expansion will provide travelers with seamless, nonstop connections to our global network, including our Denver hub that serves more than 160 destinations worldwide — the most of any airline.”
United will resume flying to Los Angeles International Airport from Colorado Springs on Feb. 12 in a 70-passenger Embraer 175 aircraft and add a flight to Houston and two flights to Denver on Feb. 11. Those changes will give the carrier six daily flights to Denver, two each to Chicago and Houston and one to Los Angeles. Before the pandemic, United operated nine flights a day to Denver, three to Chicago and Houston and two to Los Angeles.
The additional flights and larger aircraft will nearly triple United’s daily seat capacity in Colorado Springs to nearly 1,000, or 8.5% higher than it was in February 2020 before the pandemic hit the state.
“It is always good to see carriers returning service to Colorado Springs,” said Greg Phillips, director of the Colorado Springs Airport. “Our carriers have been restoring service (cut early in the pandemic) for several months as air travel has begun to recover.”
The United expansion comes a month before low-fare giant Southwest Airlines begin 13 daily nonstop flights to its hubs at Chicago’s Midway International Airport, Dallas Love Field Airport, Denver International Airport, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. That will make Southwest the largest carrier in Colorado Springs, both in daily flights and seat capacity.
Passenger numbers on outgoing flights at the Colorado Springs Airport for the first 11 months of 2020, the latest available, were down 56.9% to 331,681. Year-end totals are expected to be released Wednesday.
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