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Wood County airport braces for United cutback in Cleveland

By Jolene Craig

Parkersburg News and Sentinel

WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. – The impact of the loss of the Cleveland airport as a hub for United Airlines continues to baffle the manager of the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.

“We are still flying to Cleveland now, but I have no idea where we will be flying in the future,” said manager Jeff McDougle.

Earlier this month, in a memo to employees, Chicago-based United Continental Holds Inc. announced plans to drop Cleveland as a hub for connecting flights, which will result in as many as 470 jobs lost.

By dropping about 60 percent of United Airlines departures from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport will likely have to fly somewhere else.

“Without those flights available, we will have to go to another United hub in order to continue to serve those who fly through us in a similar manner as we do now,” McDougle said.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport has had four flights a day to and from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland since October 2010 with service provided by Silver Airways by a codeshare contract agreement with United.

McDougle said the three closest United Airlines hubs are Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Pa., and Washington Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.

“Where the airlines (United and Silver) choose to take us is out of our local hands,” McDougle said. “But, really, any of those hubs would be a good alternative to Cleveland…”

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