May 03, 2010

Gillibrand To New CEO Of Merged United Airline: Don’t Cut Flights To Upstate New York

Gillibrand: Service Cuts Would Hamper Needed Opportunities For Economic Revitalization Upstate New York Communities

Washington, DC – With the announced merger this morning between Continental and United Airlines, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today urged the new CEO of the merged company to not cut flights to Upstate New York. Continental and United both currently service airports in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany. Continental has flights out of Jamestown and Ithaca and United has flights out of Binghamton and White Plains.

In her letter to CEO Jeffery Smisek, Senator Gillibrand wrote, “Commercial air service is vital to economic development and access to new markets for New York businesses.  Service cuts would hamper needed opportunities for economic revitalization in many of our communities.   In some of our communities, particularly in upstate New York, commercial aviation services are limited.”

Including flights through the New York City metropolitan airports, United has 111 daily departures and Continental has 444 out of New York State. The announced merger, which would create the largest American airline company, still requires approval by the U.S. Department of Justice as well as from both airline’s employee unions, which could take months to complete.