United Airlines pauses Kalamazoo-Battle Creek service through Sept.

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — United Airlines is stopping service out of the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport through this fall.

Flights will be halted at least through Sept. 30.

Airport Director Craig Williams called the move “disappointing,” but urged airport stakeholders to remain strong as the coronavirus pandemic has caused a drop in the number of passengers flying.

“Our focus now is on ensuring United’s return in October and making sure that when they do they can do so with the optimism that they will succeed in serving Southwest Michigan,” Williams said in a statement.

Williams said the U.S. Department of Transportation is allowing airlines to suspend service at five airports or 5% of network cities, whichever is greater. For the big three carriers — American, Delt and United — that’s 11 airports each.

The federal CARES Act relief package provides financial aid to the airlines during the pandemic, but requires the companies to maintain service. Airlines have to apply for an exception from that requirement.

The airport is hopeful service will resume sometime in the fall.

“We don’t know for sure what United’s plans are after September 30th, but we continue to speak with them about their presence in Kalamazoo and reminding them of their growth in Kalamazoo since their return in 2016,” Williams said.

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