United Express to reduce service to some airports
BEND — United Airlines has announced it's dropping United Express service from Portland to Redmond, Eugene and Seattle on Sept. 1, with operator SkyWest Airlines citing "underperformance of those markets."
However, officials in Central Oregon say that is not exactly the case.
"It had nothing to do with our market — it was an aircraft issue," Alana Hughson, president/CEO of the Central Oregon Visitors Association, said Wednesday.
SkyWest, the United Express operator, flies 30-passenger Embraer 120 turbprops four times a day between PDX and Sea-Tac and three times daily between Portland and Redmond, as well as on the Portland-Eugene route.
There are no plans as of now to replace the flights as SkyWest moves to 50-seat Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jets, which carry more passengers but cost more to operate.
SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow told The Oregonian that United will contact passengers scheduled to fly those routes after Sept. 1 to arrange alternate flights.
Alaska Airlines operates four daily flights between Portland and Redmond, as well as Eugene, and 22 flights a day between PDX and Seattle.
SkyWest and United have been buying Embraer's later-generation aircraft, the E175.
United Express is still flying from Redmond to Denver and San Francisco.
It also operates flights from Medford to San Francisco and Denver.