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2014-04-24 at 15:02

Last United flight from Thunder Bay to Chicago leaves airport

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By tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- The final flight for United Airlines left Thunder Bay Thursday morning, bound for Chicago.

United announced in January that it was cancelling its passenger service between the two cities, effective Thursday. The once-a-day flights began on Feb. 14, 2013 on a trial basis. 

According to officials at the Thunder Bay Airport, United decided that moving their flight to some other location would bring in a higher profit. 

Thunder Bay International Airport CEO Scott McFadden says they're hoping to find another carrier to provide direct flights to the U.S.  But he added that they plan to proceed very carefully.

United Airways did not provide statistics regarding how many people were using the Thunder Bay to Chicago route.

 

 

(Thunder Bay Television)

Tbnewswatch.com(10)

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Comments

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North18 says:
There were lots of people using this flight. I know people that used this flight all the time and they said, although it was not always full, there were usually 30-40 people on the flight. For people that don't know, United used CRJ-100 planes for this flight. They hold 50 people max. I know in the States, United uses bigger planes, like the 757, which holds over 200 people, on flights across the country and they sometimes have less than 100 people on those flights. So how United says that they are going to choose a different location that will bring in a higher profit is a little questionable. And it's funny how McFadden says that they are looking for another airline to take over when people who work at the airport have already to people that Air Canada has said that they will be flying this route almost immediately.
4/24/2014 6:18:34 PM
humnchuck says:
It may have, at times, been fairly full, but I'd go with United's corporate route profitability analysis over anecdotal evidence on this one. I've read that profitability on an RJ100 is somewhere around 43-46 paying passengers, depending on various route factors.



You can't easily compare the load factors on an international short hop RJ100 vs. a 757 route w/i the USA; one is mainline United metal and staffing with multiple fare classes, while the other is a contracted regional providing United connector service.



Air Canada, should they attempt this route, would need to use their new Dash 8-Q400 in order to try and make it profitable; if United couldn't do it with an RJ, then I highly doubt Air Canada can do so much more profitably. If it was a profitable route, other carriers would most certainly be looking at it.
4/24/2014 9:24:06 PM
SomeGuy says:
United didn't operate this route, SkyWest Airlines did on behalf of United. They use the smaller aircraft. It's like how Jazz operates. When you fly into Thunder Bay your not flying with Air Canada but another company.



Maybe a Q400 would work better in this market. We've seen that Air Canada, Westjet and Porter all use the same plane and you don't need as high of load factor to turn a profit.
4/25/2014 8:30:46 AM
Sinjo says:
Same thing, have you ever tried to book a flight somewhere using United thru Chicago? You might get the outbound flight on United thru Chicago but you might be taking Air Canada back thru Toronto. They were always working together so there was no need for them to compete.
4/25/2014 8:57:46 AM
mystified says:
As soon as Cliff's pulled out of the ROF United announced they were cancelling the Tbay route. I flew with United and the plane was full.

4/25/2014 9:01:39 AM
S Duncan says:
united breaks guitars anyway.
4/25/2014 11:11:52 AM
AvidFlier says:
Porter Airlines operates Thunder Bay-Toronto-Chicago. I have only heard amazing things from their service, staff and free food/booze on board. Yes, it is a quick stop over in Toronto but with their rates, who cares. They beat Air Canada and Westjet any day.



I'll definitely be choosing Porter to replace my travel between Thunder Bay and Chicago.
4/25/2014 1:30:39 PM
dillon says:
You're an "avidflyer" and you've never taken Porter? Your "opinion" seems very odd, almost as if you wrote it from a template or something, if you know what I'm saying.

Porter doesn't even have the free food (in the form of sandwiches and breakfasts) in as many flights as they used to (they've cut that service back severely) and they are rarely on-time. I actually fly a lot, for a couple of years I was travelling about once a week, and I can count on one hand the amount of times my Porter flights were on time. On the other hand, I take WestJet 90% of the time, and I can count on 1 hand the amount of times they've been delayed for anything but weather.
4/25/2014 4:38:10 PM
festus says:
I was planning on making a trip to Chicago this summer, was looking forward to using the United route. The price was about the same or a little more. But instead of 5-6 hours travel time with Porter it was less than 2hours direct. Worth the extra couple $$$ IMO.
4/25/2014 10:24:24 PM
North18 says:
Avidflier, Porter and United fly into two different airports in Chicago. Porter flies into Midway while United flies into O'Hare. There are a lot more connecting flights out of O'Hare than Midway and that is why a lot of people fly there.
4/25/2014 9:23:32 PM
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