United Airlines is slashing flights from Guam and in the Oceania regional demand weakens.
While the “Island Hopper” will now operate four times weekly instead of three, several routes will be either suspended, reduced, or downguaged. Here are the changes:
- A fourth weekly “Island Hopper” round-trip between Guam (GUM) and Honolulu (HNL) starting on January 21, 2018
- I wrote about my experience on the “Island Hopper” HERE
- Suspend service between GUM and CTS (Sapporo, Japan) on January 15, 2018
- Cancel morning departure from Manila (MNL) to GUM, currently offered four times weekly effective January 7, 2018
- Daily evening service will remain
- Cancel service between Palau (ROR) and Yap (YAP)
- ROR and YAP will still be served from GUM
- Reduce frequencies on routes between GUM and:
- Fukuoka (FUK)
- Osaka (KIX)
- Nagoya (NGO)
- Sendai (SDJ)
- Down-gauge some GUM to Tokyo (NRT) flights from 777s to 737s
United President Scott Kirby laid out changes in a note to employees, assuring them United is committed to its Guam hub. Furthermore, the 777 pilot base will remain. Kirby hopes to restore more widebody service when demand in the region picks up. Finally, he also assured union groups that United was working to mitigate the effects of reduced flying time for some FAs and pilots.
In light of a reduced demand from Japan and growing unease in the region over North Korea, these changes seem to make sense. Like Kirby, I hope the route suspensions are only temporary.