United will stop flying between Los Angeles and New Orleans

 United Airlines is making some tweaks to its network. Photo: United Airlines 

United Airlines is making some tweaks to its network. Photo: United Airlines 

United is cutting a handful of underperforming flights, including two that touch Southern California,  the airline told employees recently. 

Effective August 17, United will stop flying from Los Angeles to New Orleans, a route that in the past has catered to the entertainment industry which does a significant amount filming in Louisiana. But it is a crowded route, with American, Delta, Spirit and Southwest all flying between the two cities.

Another Southern California route disappearing soon (June 30) will be Ontario to Houston. This may depress the fine people of Ontario, which is east of Los Angeles, who have hoped their airport would grow, not shrink, now that it is under new management. On the bright side, United said it will add larger aircraft on the Ontario-Denver route starting in September. 

United's other route cuts come in oil-rich markets, which have been underperforming of late. These routes will disappear soon:

  • San Francisco-Edmonton (June 30)
  • Chicago-Edmonton (June 30)
  • Houston- Montreal (June 30)

And these routes will stop on a seasonal basis. 

  • San Francisco-Fort Lauderdale (stops Sept. 8, resumes Oct. 29)
  • Chicago-Anchorage (stops Oct. 5 and resumes Dec. 16)

Why does United sometimes stop flying unprofitable or less profitable routes? Here's the answer from the employee communiqué:

Competitive issues always play a role in our decisions. Often when capacity is added to a route, it will turn unprofitable. Other times, an already unprofitable route will see more capacity get added and we decide to move our plane to another route where it can be profitable.