United Airlines is ending service to Santa Rosa, in California’s wine country, marking the latest in a growing list of destination cuts dating back to the start of the pandemic.
United Airlines Cuts Santa Rosa Service
Service to Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport (STS) from San Francisco (SFO), operated by United Express affiliate SkyWest will end on October 28 2022. The 66-mile flight was United’s only service to Santa Rosa, after cutting back its Denver service during the pandemic.
United did not detail its reason for the cutback, simply saying, “We’ve made the difficult decision to suspend service to Santa Rosa this fall and have already started working with customers on alternate plans.”
Other carriers will continue to serve Santa Rosa, including Alaska Airlines and American Airlines (both via SkyWest) as well as Avelo Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines
The elimination of Santa Rosa marks a growing trend at United of reducing or eliminating service to smaller communities. As Zach Griff notes, United Airlines has now dropped service to 25 cities since the pandemic began:
- Abilene, Texas (ABI)
- Alexandria, Louisiana (AEX)
- College Station, Texas (CLL)
- Columbia, Missouri (COU)
- Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida (VPS)
- Evansville, Indiana (EVV)
- Flagstaff, Arizona (FLG)
- Kalamazoo, Michigan (AZO)
- Killeen, Texas (GRK)
- Lansing, Michigan (LAN)
- Monroe, Louisiana (MLU)
- Mosinee, Wisconsin (CWA)
- Ogdensburg, New York (OGS)
- Paine Field/Everett, Washington (PAE)
- Pierre, South Dakota (PIR)
- Plattsburgh, New York (PBG)
- Rochester, Minnesota (RST)
- San Angelo, Texas (SJT)
- San Luis Valley/Alamosa, Colorado (ALS)
- Santa Rosa, California (STS)
- Stockton, California (SCK)
- Tallahassee, Florida (TLH)
- Texarkana, Arkansas (TXK)
- Twin Falls, Idaho (TWF)
- Watertown, South Dakota (ATY)
While commercial factors are at play, many service cutbacks have been forced by an ongoing pilot shortage that has hit regional airlines hardest.
United Airlines is eliminating service to California’s wine county, offering no explanation for its elimination of service. Growing competition at the airport, including from a pair of ultra low-cost carriers, may help to explain the cutback, the lingering pilot shortage is the more likely explanation.