United Airlines ending direct flights between Saskatchewan and Denver

United Airlines will end its direct flights between Saskatchewan and Denver, effective Feb. 28.
United Airlines is ending direct service between Saskatchewan's two largest cities, Saskatoon and Regina, and Denver effective Feb. 28, 2015. (CBC)

United Airlines will end its direct flights between Saskatchewan and Denver, effective at the end of February. Airport officials in Saskatoon and Regina said the news is disappointing.

According to a statement, the airport authorities were told that service changes were made for a number of reasons, including a weakened Canadian dollar and tough competition on prices.

"There is constant pressure in the industry for airlines to search for ways to reduce costs and improve their profit margins," Jim Hunter, CEO at the Regina Airport Authority, said in the statement, released Tuesday. "Often smaller markets such as Regina and Saskatoon fall victim to corporate decisions that are, of necessity, focused to increase profits to the airline".

"This news is most disappointing," Hunter added, noting that both Saskatoon and Regina had growing economies.

Stephen Maybury, CEO of the Saskatoon Airport Authority, said Tuesday the move by United Airlines will be noticed.

"Your ability to get to certain destinations has been impacted," Maybury said, adding that both airport authorities are working to attract other airlines to provide service in Saskatchewan.

The latest announcement comes after United Airlines ended direct service between Chicago and Saskatchewan, which took effect last fall.


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