United Airlines Pulling Service Out of Grand Forks - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

United Airlines Pulling Service Out of Grand Forks

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Updated Story 10:15 PM:


The Grand Forks Airport is losing one of its air carriers in December. United Airlines announced today that its pulling the plug on its two daily flights connecting Grand Forks and Denver.

"It is going to be tough on this community and the local people that use this airport." says Phil Medina who works for Hertz in the Airport.

United Airlines has only been serving the Grand Forks area for less than a year, so its decision to stop service caught many by surprise.

"United obviously a business and they have to make a business decision," says Barry Wilfahrt President & CEO at Grand Forks / East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce, "and they have to put their assets where they are going to get the best return on their investments, but at the same time we are disappointed we don't have the numbers they needed to continue service."

United Airlines says their profit expectations were not being met, that is why they are canceling their flights after December 3rd. They also say anyone who has booked a trip after that date will either be refunded or they will try to work on getting them matched up with another carrier.

Some people we talked to, wonder if United's decision is directly tied to what's happening in Western North Dakota. In June, the airline started providing non stop service between Denver and Dickinson.

"A lot of business is pointed to out west, that's kind of where the boom is, and you see some people that might get some overflow of people that can't get into out west just from flights that might come in to Grand Forks." Medina says.

And although the loss is a disappointment to the airport and city, the airport still has two airlines, Allegiant and Delta to provide air service.

"I don't expect we'll really see any significant change in service to the citizens and businesses of the community." Wilfahrt says.

Today's announcement by United flies in the face of recent boarding numbers in Grand Forks. The Aeronautics Commission says through July, the airport is 9% ahead of last years pace. They also say the airport could set a record for the most passengers to fly out of Grand Forks. But obviously, United isn't getting as much of the business as they had hoped. 





Original Story:

United Airlines is pulling out of Grand Forks. Almost a year ago, United started operating two daily flights between Grand Forks and Denver. A united spokesperson says service between the two cities will end after December third.

United says the financial performance of the flights did not meet expectations. United will be contacting customers currently booked on United flights between Grand Forks and Denver offering a refund or trying to work them into other flights.

The move comes as the Grand Forks airport is experiencing record boardings. The state aeronautics commission says that overall boardings are up 9% so far this year.

In June, united began twice-daily non stop flights between Dickinson and Denver.

Statement from United Airlines:

"We will cease our service between Denver and Grand Forks after Dec. 3.  The financial performance of the flights did not meet our expectations. We will contact customers currently booked on our flights between Grand Forks and Denver and offer to either re-accommodate them on other flights or provide a refund."

Mary Clark, Media Relations

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