Talking to Brad Holt last month, he said he didn't think United would continue to pay us to fly in the Northwest for much longer. Low load factors, low yields, not profitable. My first two years at SkyWest I flew Brazilias out of PDX and I consider those the good old days. PDX was our biggest Bro base, eighty crews and I was flying tree day trips that paid 21 hrs. with weekends off. Sadly, I think the PDX base is nearing the end.
I sure hope you're wrong. Next time you're on the company website take a look at who is occupying the top slot on the PDX CA transfer list. The PDX base closure has been talked about for over 4 years. Still hasn't happened but you can't rule anything out.
I've got friends who have been up here for decades and they tell me UAL has a history of cutting and adding flying in the Pac NW. I've never understood why UAL is afraid to compete with AS/QX which have relatively high costs but they're anxious to go into markets that are saturated with LCC's, particularly back east. There are many good markets up here. Maybe I just don't see the "big picture."
In the case of YVR I'd be willing to bet that the flying is just being transferred to Jazz. Tri-Cities is a growing market and will still have RJ service.
People in the Northwest are very loyal to the local brands, not to mention Horizon serves Starbucks plus all the micro brew and local wine you can drink. Given the choice, I'd fly Horizon. I told Brad that if United wanted to compete in the Northwest they should forget SEA and PDX and instead go into cities like Salem, Olympia and Renton with RJs and link them up with SFO, LAX, SLC, DEN and ORD; give people the option of flying out of a smaller airport and avoid the hassle of an hour drive and airport parking. He seemed intrigued and said he would mention it to Steve Hart. As for transfering to PDX, I gave up on that three years ago.
It's sad to see all this flying go. From one end I am loyal to UAL and will try to stay that way as long as UAL does better job that Kakaska; which is not that hard to do.
When i moved here about 5 years ago you guys ran BLI, YKM, etc. from SEA.
From pilot perspective, I was hoping that I can get on with the airline and be based in PDX but that is a dream that will not going to happen from both ends. (Skywest didn't call, PDX is reducing ops).