United Plans to end contract with one of its regional feeder airlines

FlyerTalk has announced United Airlines has informed its two regional feeder airlines, ExpressJet and CommutAir, that one of the two carriers will be cut from United´s network, the company said.

United´s cuts will make the airline smaller post COVID-19. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, United was one of several airlines expanding its footprint across the United States. Much of the growth was through smaller regional airlines operating under the brand name of a mainline carrier. ExpressJet and CommutAir were both part of that growth, operating regional jets feeding into United hubs, operating as United Express.

Despite holding a minority stake in both carriers, United is now trimming its network in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The loss of one regional carrier moves inline with United´s planned staff cuts. In July 2020, the Chicago-based carrier sent furlough notices to 36,000 employees, citing the need to reduce staff once they are allowed to by the CARES Act.