I don't know how you feel about United Airlines leaving San Angelo but it will directly affect me!

I remember when negotiations first started to get direct flights between San Angelo and Houston via United Airlines. I got really excited about it because it was going to make flying so much better for me to spend time with my daughter in the Houston area.

Up until they came in, Kellie and I had to fly American from San Angelo to Dallas, have a layover time, change planes and half the day was gone by the time we got to Houston plus the airfare was twice the price.

It was great when we recently booked a flight on United from San Angelo to Houston at half the price and were in the air and there within about an hour. That was awesome!!  We started making plans to get together more often with the affordable air fares and convenience that United had provided!

Now it's going away and I'm disappointed. United Airlines is going to stop services in and out of San Angelo as of October 1st. If you're wondering why, the airline's answer is that the current worldwide pilot shortage, coupled with major industry occurrences, is forcing regional carriers to reduce service in smaller markets.

That's a broad statement, so lets bring it down to the local level. Representatives of SkyWest Airlines, the operating company of United Express Airlines in San Angelo says that they have had to withdraw services from a number of airports of our size around the nation, including many in Texas because upcoming ticket sales projections are not profitable enough. United is also saying that the San Angelo to Houston route has not met market expectations for passenger load factors.

Airport Director Jeremy Valgardson said....“We thought we’d have a much better turnout for our Houston market. The challenge was being right in the middle of a pandemic – it’s hard to predict those numbers. So, we were sitting at about 60% load factors. Our level of profitability needed to be in the 70 to 80% range and we just didn’t quite get there.”

The City of San Angelo has expressed confidence in the future possibilities of San Angelo Regional Airport – Mathis Field and plans to pursue new opportunities on behalf of the citizens of San Angelo.

I will certainly miss United Airlines and their direct Houston flights and I'm sure many other San Angelo residents will as well. I hope we can replace them with another airline offering direct flights to and from Houston and I hope it happens sooner than later!

For more information, click here.

Please leave a comment below as to how you feel about United Airlines final departure from San Angelo.

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