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United service in Medford is unlikely to be effected

Audrey Mundy of United customer service helps a United Express passenger with a question at Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport on Thursday. Mail Tribune / Jim Craven — — — — It's unlikely that United Air Lines service to Medford would be interrupted before the airline pulls out of Medford on Jan. 7.

That's when United Express, operated by SkyWest Inc. of St. George, Utah, will assume the local service previously provided by United. Medford is one of several cities scheduled to lose United service as part of cost-cutting measures announced by the airline in late October.

SkyWest hopes for the best but is prepared for the worst, spokesman Philip Gee said Thursday. Any speculation on United ceasing to exist is just that, speculation. We fully expect United to continue operations, even with their financial woes.

Many airlines have declared bankruptcy in the past and have continued operations through the bankruptcy process. America West, and Continental (twice), are just two examples of airlines that have recovered after bankruptcy.

SkyWest currently has 662 daily departures as United Express and another 404 under a route partnership agreement with Delta Airlines.

Audrey Mundy of United customer service helps a United Express passenger with a question at Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport on Thursday. Mail Tribune / Jim Craven - Mail Tribune images