Low loonie leads United Airlines to suspend daily flights from Edmonton

United Airlines is suspending daily flights from the Edmonton International Airport to Chicago and San Francisco, and Edmonton airport officials say the low Canadian dollar is to blame.

The flights will be cancelled effective July 1. Heather Hamilton with EIA said United did a great job of trying to maintain the flights, but they haven’t been successful.

A spokesperson with United said the airline constantly reviews how flights are performing in each market they serve, and these particular flights weren’t performing well.

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    “It was a market that wasn’t meeting our expectations that we had set for it,” Jonathan Guerin said.

    READ MORE: WestJet forced to discount airfares as ‘Alberta effect’ hits travel demand

    In hopes of accommodating some of the demand from those flights, United will add another daily flight from Edmonton to Denver in the fall.

    The changes to service come at a time when travel from EIA to the United States has declined 28 per cent over the same time last year.

    Hamilton said a lot of EIA’s traffic comes from mobile travellers – those who commute for work. The number of mobile travellers at EIA has dropped from 900,000 two years ago to just over 700,000 last year, Hamilton said.

    READ MORE: WestJet reduces service out of Edmonton, Calgary due to economic slump

    Hamilton said Delta Airlines, which launched a daily flight from EIA to Seattle in December, plans to add a second daily flight to the American city later this year.

    Anyone who has booked seats on the cancelled flights will be contacted by the airline.

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