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United Airlines ending service to Easterwood Airport in College Station

Texas A&M officials say move could be 'devastating' to university.
Easterwood Airport
Easterwood Airport passengers 2019-2021
Posted at 4:59 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 21:03:33-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Easterwood Airport is losing nearly half its destinations after United Airlines said it's cutting ties with the Texas A&M University-owned airport.

Reps for the major carrier told university officials the company would no longer offer two daily flights to Houston after Jan. 3, 2022. The company has flown out of Easterwood Airport since the 1980s, according to a statement from Texas A&M.

Chancellor John Sharp said the decision would be "devastating" to the university.

The school said Easterwood Airport would be left with only three daily American Airlines flights to Dallas-Fort Worth.

“We’re doing everything we can to get them to change their mind,” Sharp said.

John Clanton, president of the Eastwood Airport Management, said he was "caught off guard" by United's decision to end ties with the Brazos Valley airport. He said there's been a significant increase in flights from Easterwood recently.

According to data from the Private Enterprise Research Center at Texas A&M, the number of passengers flying out of Easterwood in September (6,666) was up 9-percent over August. While that number has more than tripled since March (2,074), it is still below pre-pandemic levels (6,821 - February 2020). It is also well below air traffic in September 2019 (7,529).

Easterwood Airport passengers 2019-2021
Texas A&M University

The population of the Bryan-College Station area has grown at an unprecedented rate — 12-percent — since 2016, according to A&M.

Clanton said Easterwood was in discussion with United about a regular flight to Denver just four weeks ago.

United has not released any further information regarding its decision to end service at Easterwood.

In September, Texas A&M announced nearly $5.9 million worth of improvements to the airport.

One of the airport’s main taxiways will be realigned to support large aircraft. A&M said it is too close to an aircraft parking apron for large aircraft to use.

The project will also allow for more aircraft parking.

The work — which will be paid for by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration — was expected to begin in January.