This week’s announcement that United Airlines will end its service between Topeka and Chicago means that the Topeka Regional Airport is losing its only daily scheduled flights. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, United’s two daily flights to Chicago from Topeka will be discontinued as of September 2.
The decision was triggered by several factors, but United notes that, on average, only around half of the seats on the flights were regularly filled. The flights started in January, and bad weather also hurt the daily routes not long after launch. The low ridership caused the airport to burn through a nearly $2 million fund set up to guarantee revenue to United. Staff with the Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority say they’re learning from the experience, but it’s not clear if they'll be able to attract any other airlines to Topeka in the near future.