United Continental to eliminate Cleveland as hub, cut up to 470 jobs

Feb. 2, 2014 at 11:46 PM

CHICAGO, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- United Continental Holdings Inc., unable to generate enough business, says it intends to drop Cleveland as hub and slice up to 470 jobs.

Dropping Cleveland as a hub will reduce the average number of daily departures about 60 percent, the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday.

"The demand for hub-level connecting flying through Cleveland simply isn't there," United Chief Executive Jeff Smisek said in a Saturday letter to workers. "Ultimately, we can't create demand, but we do have a responsibility to react to it. We must make the right business decisions, even when those decisions are painful."

Smisek said the Cleveland hub has been a loser for more than a decade, dumping tens of millions of dollars in red ink on the Chicago-based airline's books annually in recent years.

The Tribune said most of the jobs being eliminated will be among airport operations workers and some catering employees. No pilots or flight attendants are expected to lose their jobs.

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