You may remember that United was trying to put a stop to Southwest being able to fly internationally out of Houston Hobby. One of their claims was that if Southwest could fly internationally from Hobby, that United would have to pull back on its routes from Houston Intercontinental. Southwest was, of course, allowed to begin flying (some day) internationally from Hobby, and United has followed through with their threat.
First, they canceled the upcoming launch of flights to Auckland, seeing that Southwest would throw 737s on that route. Now, they have peered into Southwest’s crystal ball and decided the best defensive move was to cancel nonstop flights from Houston to Paris, which they will do beginning in October. They have flown that route since 1997.
They are also cutting back on domestic flights, eliminating Asheville, Greensboro, Toluca, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Waco, and Victoria (TX). Worst of all (or, for those of you fascinated with the Continental Bus service to Allentown, best of all) they will replace Houston-Beaumont air service with a bus.
Houston isn’t going away as a key hub, but we’ll see more of these types of reductions in the coming months.