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United Airlines ending service to Central Texas regional airports: Killeen, Brazos Valley

denver international airport, united airlines
Posted at 4:32 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 18:30:16-04

The regional airport that provides "essential service to the soldiers and families of Fort Hood," will be losing service from United Airlines.

United Airlines will be suspending service from the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport effective Jan. 4, 2022.

Due to changes in the long-term sustainability of this route, United will end service to Killeen at the start of the new year. We will work with impacted customers to help them make alternate plans.
- Charles Hobart, United Airlines spokesperson

The announcement was made just after the airline said it is cutting ties with Easterwood Airport in College Station on Wednesday. The airline suspended service from seven other regional airports in the U.S. as well.

"I’ll share that many different factors determine a successful route and our decisions include careful evaluation of our overall network, fleet, resources at our regional partners and yields," said Charles Hobart, United Airlines spokesperson, in regards to why the airline ended service to College Station. "With that in mind, we have determined that this particular route is not sustainable for the long-term."

The Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport (GRK) said United Airlines held a 20-year partnership with the regional airport.

25 News reached out to the City of Killeen to ask what effect this will have on traffic at the airport.

What does this mean for traffic at the airport the city is currently expecting?

There could be some short-term impact on passenger numbers; however, United Airlines’ share of our enplanements is small and I expect that most of those currently using United will begin using American Airlines at some point.
- Mike Wilson, Killeen’s executive director of aviation

Wilson said typically 1 to 2 United Airlines flights come in and out of GRK airport depending on the day of the week. The future of the airport still looks good; according to Wilson, with total enplanements since the summer of this year going above pre-COVID numbers "and the majority of those were American Airlines passengers."

Additionally, we have spoken to American about additional capacity in light of United Airlines leaving, and they indicated that if additional demand is there, they will attempt to meet the demand.
- Mike Wilson, Killeen’s executive director of aviation

For more about regional airports in Central Texas and their large economic impact click here.

In July, GRK announced it would be offering non-stop flight services to Denver, Colorado. The regional airport promised lower ticket prices and links to various domestic and international destinations.

"In anticipation of such an announcement, Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport implemented a marketing plan in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021 and will continue marketing efforts to promote flying from Killeen in 2022," said GRK on Thursday.

United said the end of service was due to pandemic-related shortages, and limited staffing.

"GRK will continue to work with United Airlines to find a path forward in mid-2022, with the potential return of the carrier when market conditions improve, and a proposed plan for service to two hubs," said the City of Killeen.