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United to end Newark-Newcastle service – a sign of things to follow?

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Reports have been showing a not so insignificant slump in Europe bound traffic for United Airlines and today we see the first causality in the termination of the airline’s Newcastle service. The airline cites the decline in the Pound Sterling however, as the reason for the cancellation, given that the currency has lost approximately 13% of its value since the Brexit vote took place last month. United anticipated that outbound travel from Newcastle would be severely affected by the currency fluctuation and indicated that the route was not even currently profitable with the outlook remaining grim.

The presence of United flights at Edinburgh and Glasgow will not have helped the flight given the two cities’ proximity to Newcastle, and the fact that the Scottish destinations are also supported by traffic from the lucrative oil industry up in Aberdeen.

September 6 is the last flight for the route.

What this means for the reshuffling of the 757 fleet at the airline’s Newark Liberty hub remains to be seen but it will be a welcome addition for most United domestic fliers who will now enjoy the international flat bed configured 757 back on intra-US runs. Perhaps a further boost of ps fights out of Newark is in the offing?

United along with Delta and American are planning to do ‘day of week’ cancellations throughout their fall and winter schedule for flights to Europe, with the UK taking the brunt of the ad-hoc scheduling. While Washington Dulles and San Francisco seem to be doing fine (UA is keeping their second daily seasonal service to year round) other stations such as Chicago and Newark will be fluctuating with many twists and turns to come, I’m sure.

It will be interesting to see how the major 3 US carriers manage capacity in the wake of Brexit and the mess it has left behind.

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