VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — United Airlines has decided to end service out of the Elmira Corning Regional Airport, citing a low demand for travel between Elmira and Washington D.C. They have been offering two flights daily.
Tom Freeman, Director of Aviation for Elmira, said they had a two year agreement with the airline with a goal to have planes 75-percent full. After only six months, they were at 70-percent.
This is the second time the airline is pulling service from Elmira. Freeman called the nature of these moves fluid. “There is an ongoing shortage of airplanes and pilots, and they tend to move the equipment around where they can get the most bang for their buck,” he said.
Freeman explained that any time an airline leaves, the majority of passengers stay.
“80-percent, or so, of the passengers end up transitioning to one of the other airlines that stayed at the airport,” he said. “I think, in the short term, people will start using more Delta, and perhaps more Allegiant.”
Delta offers flights to Detroit, which is another major hub, and Allegiant just started it’s new service between Elmira and Punta Gorda, Florida.
According to Freeman, the airport is experiencing an all-time record year with about 160-thousand passengers thus far in 2019. With their passenger base and low facility costs for airlines, Freeman is confident they’ll be able to find one to replace United.