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United Airlines pulling flights from Regina, Saskatoon to Denver
A United Continental Airlines jet is seen in 2011. (AP / Amy Sancetta)
Published Tuesday, January 20, 2015 3:24PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 20, 2015 4:59PM CST
Airport officials say United Airlines will be pulling twice-daily direct flights from Regina and Saskatoon to Denver, Colo.
The U.S.-based airline has given notice that it will be ending the service on Feb. 28, the Regina and Saskatoon airport authorities said in a joint news release Tuesday.
According to the release, United cited several factors leading to the cancellation, including fleet replacement issues, the lower Canadian dollar, stiff price competition and a robust American economy. Other airports have also been affected as United restructures routes to increase profits.
Regina Airport Authority CEO Jim Hunter said the news was disappointing, especially considering the record growth of Saskatchewan’s two largest cities.
“Often smaller markets such as Regina and Saskatoon fall victim to corporate decisions that are, of necessity, focused to increase profits to the airline,” Hunter said in the release.
“That is not to say that United would not return to the market should circumstances from their perspective become more favourable.”
Saskatoon Airport Authority CEO Stephen Maybury said his organization plans to join forces with its Regina counterpart “in their efforts to fill the gap left by United’s exit from the province."
United cancelled direct flights to Chicago from Saskatoon and Regina late last year.
Delta Airlines and WestJet are the only other airlines to run direct flights to the U.S. from Saskatchewan. Delta flies to Minneapolis while WestJet offers service to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Palm Springs, Calif.
A WestJet spokesperson said the company has no plans to add a flight to Denver. Air Canada said they are not planning to add flights to the U.S. from Saskatchewan.