United Airlines once operated a major hub at Newark airport, which dates to the Continental Airlines merger. Continental’s Newark hub, in turn, dates to PEOPLExpress – Frank Lorenzo’s Texas International held Continental, Eastern, People Express, Frontier, and New York Air – which turned Newark from a backwater into a major gateway. Newark itself was the primary New York airport before the opening of LaGuardia.
However for ‘at least’ the next three weeks United will operate a reduced schedule with only 17 flights from the New York area, including 15 from Newark.
— David Slotnick (@David_Slotnick) April 4, 2020
At this point the primary reason for continuing to operate – at all – seems to be to bring medical professionals and supplies to the New York area to assist with their overwhelmed health care system.
United was quick to cut further and deeper than most other airlines, recognizing the damage that coronavirus was doing to its business and scaling down to protect itsekf. United has been forthright about the expectations of future furloughs, once government bailout requirements that limit layoffs lift. So it’s no surprise they’ve scaled back their flying so much in the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak.
United Airlines Newark Terminal C
American Airlines, for now, is operating a bigger schedule than United is at Newark – with 17 flights on the books today:
- 5 to Charlotte
- 3 to Dallas Fort Worth
- 3 to Miami
- 3 to Chicago O’Hare
- 3 to Phoenix
Some of these flights may not operate. So it’ll be the end of the day before we know if American is, in fact, running a larger airline operation than United is at Newark.