Springs Airport Loses Yet Another Major Route

Amid consistently decreasing passenger numbers at Colorado Springs Airport, United Airlines announced this week that it will end its nonstop flights from the Springs to Dulles International Airport. 

May 15 2014, 11:40 AM

More bad news for the already beleaguered Colorado Springs Airport: No more direct flights to Washington, D.C.

United Airlines announced this week that it is cancelling its daily nonstop flights between the Springs and Dulles International Airport in September amid concerns the route is “not meeting expectations,” the Colorado Springs Gazette reports. The loss of a D.C. route is another blow to the Springs’ airport, and will force government contractors and military personnel to travel to Denver International Airport for nonstop flights to the nation’s capital.

United began offering the flights four years ago through SkyWest Airlines—operating as United Express—on regional jets. Dan Gallagher, director of the Colorado Springs Airport, told the newspaper that passengers were filling 55 of the 80 seats on the aircraft on each trip and that United’s decision to pull the route “is less about our market than it is about United and their business model."

But things seem to be going from bad to worse at the airport. Thirteen months ago, Frontier Airlines stopped flights from Colorado Springs to Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, and Orlando. The Gazette says Frontier's departure was responsible for a roughly 20 percent decrease in passengers last year.

A report released last year showed the number of people flying out of Colorado Springs Airport had declined each year in the past decade, in part because of ticket prices and to limited choices among carriers and routes. At the time that report was released, it was estimated that 45 percent of Colorado Springs flyers go to DIA and 53 percent of Pueblo flyers travel to DIA to begin their trips.

Ironically, news of the Springs-Dulles route comes the same week that Allegiant Air debuts its twice-a-week nonstop flights to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Whether that’ll be enough to offset the loss of the nonstop D.C. flight will remain to be seen.

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock