Private jet demand could benefit from United, American route cuts

By Doug Gollan, November 22, 2021

Travelers headed from and to over a dozen cities where United Airlines and American Airlines are stopping flights could turn to private aviation

While demand continues at a record level for private jets in the U.S., United Airlines and American Airlines cited a lack of demand in cutting flights to over a dozen smaller and midsize cities.

United said the cuts are “indefinite.”

Destinations losing service are Kalamazoo, Michigan; Lansing, Michigan; Evansville, Indiana; Mosinee, Wisconsin; Columbia, Missouri; College Station, Texas; Killeen-Fort Hood, Texas; Monroe, Louisiana; Pierre, South Dakota; Watertown, South Dakota, and Twin Falls, Idaho.

It had been serving the airports via its hubs in Chicago, Houston, and Denver. It called the flights “unsustainable” due to Covid impact.

Meanwhile, Business Journals reports American cut 42,000 flights previously scheduled for January and another 35,000 flights in February. That’s a reduction of 30% and 25% for the schedule it had on the books at the beginning of the month.

According to the website Key West, Florida; Charlotte and Knoxville, Tennessee, and Jackson, Mississippi will lose flights.

Routes like Los Angeles to Reno and Salt Lake City are being cut, although the airline will serve those cities from other hubs.

Why fly by private jet?

The service cuts will make it harder for users of the impacted airports to fly with the airlines. It could drive more demand for private aviation.

At the same time, health concerns are still driving newcomers to private aviation with over 1,000 daily U.S. deaths from Covid as travelers seek to reduce touchpoints. Flying privately has under 20 touchpoints compared to over 700 with the airlines.

Users of private aviation often find that trips that took multiple days and four or five hours with a connection can be completed on the same day flying privately.

With access to over 5,000 airports U.S. compared to under 500 with the airlines, travelers get closer to where their need to be flying privately before the cuts. In fact, 80% of private aviation flights are to and from small towns and communities.

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