United adding bigger planes at Lincoln Airport

By coffman | May 1, 2017 | News, news-home | No Comments

By Matt Olberding
Lincoln Journal Star

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The Lincoln Airport is not getting new airline service — at least not yet — but it is getting added capacity from its existing carriers.

The airport announced Friday that United Airlines has already started using a larger 76-seat regional jet on some flights to Denver this month, and the airline plans to add another daily flight to Denver using the larger plane in July. The new flight will leave Lincoln daily at around 1 p.m., while an additional flight from Denver to Lincoln will arrive late at night.

In addition, airport officials said Delta Air Lines will continue using 76-seat planes on its daily Lincoln-to-Atlanta flight throughout the summer. In the past, Delta has downsized to a smaller plane on the route during the summer.

Airport Executive Director David Haring said the move to larger planes is part of a trend in the airline industry.

It also provides fliers with more seating options, as the larger planes offer first-class and economy plus seating in addition to regular economy seating.

Though passenger traffic at the airport was down about 4 percent in the first quarter compared with a year ago, Haring said local flights are pretty consistently between 80 and 85 percent full.

“We’ve been operating near capacity in recent years, so it’s good to have more seats available,” Haring said in a news release. “It’s also an opportunity to show the airlines that Lincoln will support improved air service.”

Lincoln has actively been courting additional air service both from Delta and United as well as a third airline, which a consultant for the airport has hinted is American Airlines.

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