United Airlines continues service despite using up revenue guarantee
COLUMBIA - United Airlines is requesting the full amount of the $600,000 revenue guarantee the city said it could give back in 2017.
The purpose of the fund, according to City Spokesman Steve Sapp, was to ensure the airline received profits if sales fell short.
"There's a combination of federal and private funders who felt that bringing in additional air service was important for the economic benefits," Sapp said.
In 2017 United Airlines opened service in Columbia Regional Airport, offering flights to Denver, Colorado.
"United Airlines wanted to come to Columbia and so investors decided that was something they could get behind," Sapp said.
Jonathan Guerin is a spokesperson for United Airlines. In a statement he said using the entirety of the funds doesn't mean service will stop.
“United will continue to offer service between Columbia and Denver and because this is a fairly new market we are giving the service more time to build. We will continue to review demand for travel and make adjustments as needed,” Guerin said.
Sapp said in the end, the revenue guarantee worked in the way it was supposed to.
"We have to encourage people to utilize Columbia Regional Airport because the more it is utilized, the more airlines take notice," Sapp said.
Sapp said the idea for these guarantees is to attract more airlines to Columbia and therefore provide more services.
"We've increased the passenger load through Columbia Regional Airport by 54 percent in a year and it's all thanks to those partners of the revenue guarantee."
In terms of the future, the city hopes people continue to utilize the airport so services can continue to get better.