Airport studies United hub decision

WILLIAMSTOWN – Local planners are assessing the impact to commercial air service at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport following the announcement that United Continental will drop Cleveland as a hub.

Airport Manager Jeff McDougle said the decision to no longer use Cleveland Hopkins International Airport as a hub had been discussed for a while.

“When the merger between United and Continental started a couple of years ago, the airline released a list of possible hubs to drop and Cleveland was part of it,” McDougle said. “We just don’t know what that means for us.”

McDougle said airlines often drop smaller hubs following a merger of two or more companies.

“When mergers go through, the airlines find there’s no value to the smaller hubs,” he said. “Cleveland has been losing money for Continental for years.”

The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport has had four flights a day to and from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport since October 2010 with service provided by Silver Airways through a codeshare contract with United.

The service was recently extended for another two years by the U.S. Department of Transportation as it is part of the federal Essential Air Service program.