United Airlines has announced it will suspend service to the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport (GRK), along with seven other regional airports in the United States, effective Jan. 4, 2022. The airline cited pandemic-related shortages, including limited regional aircraft availability, as well as limited pilots and crews nationwide, as the reasons for the suspension.
The Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport (GRK) and United Airlines have had a 20-year partnership, and this will result in the loss of approximately 100 seats per day. The City of Killeen and the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport (GRK) have worked with United Airlines for several years to help grow and increase passenger counts and sustain profitable air service. This reduction is part of the evolving nature of the post-pandemic air service era-- not reflective of poor performance, only the new COVID-19 macro-economics.
In July, GRK was awarded $1.3 million in funding from federal grants and Central Texas regional partners to negotiate with carriers for service and provide non-stop service to Denver, Colo. In anticipation of such an announcement, Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport implemented a marketing plan in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021 and will continue marketing efforts to promote flying from Killeen in 2022.
Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport’s service continues with American Airlines, which offers 6-8 flights per day to the Dallas/Fort Worth Regional International Airport (DFW). Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport will continue to strengthen American Airline’s service, while it aggressively develops opportunities with other carriers, continues to invest in community partnerships and increases marketing efforts to promote the convenience of using air service from GRK.
GRK will continue to work with United Airlines to find a path forward in mid-2022, with the potential return of the carrier when market conditions improve, and a proposed plan for service to two hubs.
“United Airlines will always be welcome in Killeen,” GRK’s Executive Director of Aviation, Mike Wilson, said. United representatives left the door open for future talks, stating, “We’d like to come back at a later time to properly serve the market with the right resources.”
GRK provides an essential service to the soldiers and families of Fort Hood and to the civilians throughout Central Texas. GRK takes seriously the responsibility to pursue all opportunities that maintain or improve that service.
Media may direct inquiries for United Airlines to Charles Hobart at Charles.Hobart@United.com.