Friday, September 1, 2017

United Aims to Resume Full Houston Schedule by September 8: ‘Our employees are currently rallying to restore service faster than originally anticipated,’ airline says



The Wall Street Journal
By Susan Carey
Sept. 1, 2017 8:02 p.m. ET

United Continental Holdings Inc. UAL 0.76% plans to resume service at Houston’s main airport by Sept. 8, more than a week earlier than it had planned to return to full strength following Tropical Storm Harvey.

“Our employees are currently rallying to restore service faster than originally anticipated,” United said Friday.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport, United’s second-biggest hub, allowed some flights to arrive and take off Wednesday as floodwaters covering the roads that connect the airport to Houston started to recede.

The new concern for airlines in Houston is whether they can guarantee jet-fuel supplies, given that some pipelines have been shut and the Houston energy complex was crippled by the rainmaking monster of a storm.

United didn’t comment on its access to jet fuel in Houston.

United normally operates about 480 flights a day in and out of Bush, only 20 fewer than at its main hub, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The third-largest U.S. airline by traffic said its Houston lobbies, check-in counters, terminals and airline clubs are up and running.

United operated 37 special flights to Bush, with Federal Aviation Administration permission, to bring supplies and crews and relieve employees who were working at the airport. Some 400 United employees flew in to help, and nearly 1,200 displaced travelers were transported between Houston and Chicago.

Other airlines that operate fewer flights to Houston also started flying to Bush this week, including Delta Air Lines Inc. and American Airlines Group Inc. Discounter Spirit Airlines Inc. resumed operations on Friday, according to flight-tracking website Flightaware.com.

William P. Hobby Airport, the smaller airfield closer to downtown Houston, reopened on Wednesday. Southwest Airlines Co. , the big operator there, doesn’t expect to resume flights until Saturday.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.wsj.com

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