April 21, 2009

Summer flight schedules reduced

Finding a convenient flight is getting harder because the recession has prompted U.S. airlines to cut down on service, industry officials say.

Regional hubs are especially feeling the impact of airline cutbacks, USA Today reported Tuesday.

Cleveland Hopkins International, San Antonio International and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International airports report service by June will be down 17.5 percent, 14.4 percent and 25 percent, respectively, compared to a year earlier, the newspaper said.

Larger airports have also experienced flight reductions, but not as dramatically as regional hubs. Chicago's O'Hare said domestic service in June will be reduced 9.1 percent compared to June 2008.

Airlines have been hit with a one-two punch. Last summer, rising fuel prices hammered them, but when fuel prices retreated the recession caused travelers to cut back, especially in the profitable business class.