Rising fuel costs are being blamed for cuts in flights to and from Will Rogers World Airport.

The airport soon will lose direct connections to five of 22 cities and will face a 13 percent cut in daily flights and available seats, Oklahoma City Director of Airports Mark Kranenburg said. Those cuts are because of fuel costs and are coming even though some of those flights might be filled with passengers.

Flights that will be lost include one of four American Airlines daily regional jet flights to Chicago, effective Friday; all service by Continental Airlines to Cleveland, effective Aug. 31; all ExpressJet Airlines service to Albuquerque, N.M., Ontario, Calif., San Diego and Sacramento, Calif., effective Aug. 23.

Also to be cut are one regional jet flight by United Airlines to Los Angeles, effective Aug. 16, and another by United to Chicago, effective Aug. 30, along with all U.S. Airways service to Las Vegas, effective Aug. 1, and Phoenix, effective Sept. 2.

The total number of daily flights will drop from 86 to 75, while the number of available seats will fall from 7,715 to 6,737.


Rising fuel costs are being blamed for cuts in flights to and from Will Rogers World Airport.
The airport soon will lose direct connections to five of 22 cities and will face a 13 percent cut in daily flights and available seats, Oklahoma City Director of Airports Mark Kranenburg said. Those cuts are because of fuel costs and are coming even though some of those flights might be filled with passengers.
Flights that will be lost include one of four American Airlines daily regional jet flights to Chicago, effective Friday; all service by Continental Airlines to Cleveland, effective Aug. 31; all ExpressJet Airlines service to Albuquerque, N.M., Ontario, Calif., San Diego and Sacramento, Calif., effective Aug. 23.
Also to be cut are one regional jet flight by United Airlines to Los Angeles, effective Aug. 16, and another by United to Chicago, effective Aug. 30, along with all U.S. Airways service to Las Vegas, effective Aug. 1, and Phoenix, effective Sept. 2.
The total number of daily flights will drop from 86 to 75, while the number of available seats will fall from 7,715 to 6,737.
Oklahoma City’s airport is doing “better than average” even considering the cuts, he said. Kranenburg said Delta Airlines plans to add another regional jet flight from Oklahoma City to Atlanta and Cincinnati.
“We think Oklahoma City is doing so well, especially with the NBA coming to town, that we were in an excellent position to do more recruiting,” Kranenburg said. “And maybe this will allow some carriers to recognize opportunities where others have cut connections to cities and step in and pick them up.”
Recruiting those carriers during the coming months could be a challenge, said Bob McAdoo, a senior airline analyst with Nashville, Tenn.-based Avondale Partners.
“They don’t want to take the time to develop new markets right now,” McAdoo said. “They want to go to things you know work. Once things stabilize, then they might look at new opportunities.”