United Airlines is cutting back service to two cities in the United Kingdom and one in Ireland.
Service to Birmingham, England will end on October 5th and the station will close:
- Last outbound flight departs Newark – EWR on October 04, 2017
- Last outbound flight departs Birmingham – BHX on October 05, 2017
Service to Glasgow, Scotland will transition from year-around to seasonal:
- Last outbound flight departs Newark on October 27, 2017
- Last outbound flight departs Glasgow -GLA on October 28, 2017
- Service from Newark will resume on May 04, 2018
Service to Shannon, Ireland will also transition from year-around to seasonal.
- Last outbound flight departs Newark on November 24, 2017
- Last outbound flight departs Shannon – SNN on November 25, 2017
- Service from Newark will resume on March 09, 2018
Why are These Routes Being Cut?
A lively discussion over Norwegian – United competition ensued in a recent post, but these route cuts are not about Norwegian or any other low-cost carrier. United competes head-to-head between New York and Glasgow and Shannon with Delta. AerLingus also flies to Shannon. But Delta also only offers seasonal service between these cities and will in fact suspend service before United does.
Could it be Brexit? It could…but Brexit has not occurred yet. That’s years away if Great Britain does not find a path to remain and still save face (that’s my prediction). And of course that does not impact the Shannon reduction and potentially not even Glasgow if Scotland breaks away from the UK.
My analysis is simple: the routes were not performing to expectations and those aircraft can be better utilized flying to other places. Glasgow is not that far from Edinburgh, which retains year-around service. Shannon will remain served by Aer Lingus, still a United partner. United had to pull the aircraft from somewhere for its increased Hawaii service.
The changes have not been loaded into the schedule yet, but the flights beyond the cut-off dates have been zeroed out. While cutbacks on international routes are always disappointing, those planes won’t be parked. I do feel bad for the employees in Birmingham who will lose their positions, but hope they can use the next few months before the station closes to find something even better.
top image: Paisley Scotland / Flickr