Fresno is getting direct air service to Chicago!

I’ve always though the next domestic airline destination from Fresno would be to Houston, via United, but today we get a surprise: it will be Chicago….with United! 

United Airlines in 2018 continues its domestic routes expansion, as the airline opened reservation for a total of 12 routes in 2018. Following routes opened for booking since Friday night (Pacific Time) 17NOV17.
Chicago O’Hare – El Paso eff 09APR18 2 daily Embraer E170 (Republic Airlines)
Chicago O’Hare – Fresno eff 07JUN18 1 daily Embraer E175 (Skywest)
Denver – Jacksonville FL eff 09APR18 1 daily Embraer E175 (Skywest)
Denver – Liberal eff 06FEB18 6 weekly CRJ200 (Skywest)
Denver – North Platte eff 01FEB18 2 daily CRJ200 (Skywest; weekends frequency varies)
Denver – Pueblo – Liberal eff 06FEB18 6 weekly CRJ200 (Skywest)
Denver – Scottsbluff eff 30JAN18 2 daily CRJ200 by Skywest (weekends frequency varies)
Los Angeles – Kalispell eff 07JUN18 1 daily CRJ200 (Skywest)
Los Angeles – Medford eff 09APR18 2 daily CRJ200 (Skywest)
Los Angeles – Missoula eff 07JUN18 1 daily CRJ200 (Skywest)
Los Angeles – Redmond eff 09APR18 1 daily CRJ200 (Skywest)
Newark – Elmira eff 09APR18 2 daily ERJ145 (Commutair)

Routes Online 

As you can see, this will actually be Skywest service on a regional jet, but it will allow for new eastern connection on United!

Fresno has poor airline connections compared to peer cities, as I highlighted here.

Additionally, Citylab recently did an article about the economic importance of direct air flights.

While there is nothing cities can do about their geography, they can be strategic about air connectivity. Perhaps the main practical takeaway from the study is that direct flight connections with particular cities mean a great deal more than airport capacity per se. The study confirms what many of us intuitively know: Changing planes is a pain in the neck—so much so that it actually affects inter-city investment patterns.

So this is great news!

…well, 90% good news. To start, this will be seasonal service, running from June to August. So United is just testing the water here. Hopefully, the water, uh, bites.

Additionally, Fresno recently landed a new international destination. Volaris will be flying to Morelia, Mexico, on Mondays and Saturdays starting December 16.

Now bring us Jetblue please!

8 Replies to “Fresno is getting direct air service to Chicago!”

  1. now lets hope the huge combination of cities–fresno, clovis, madera use it to bring up ridership and get other big airlines to service direct flights from fresno.

    1. I truly don’t think it’s hona happen. Seems like everybody in this town won’t be happy unless SW comes here. It would be interesting to see what would happen if they DID come. But I know they won’t because the numbers don’t justify it. But it’s the chicken or the egg thing like I described in my earlier post.

  2. James oh James….I was hecka excited when I 1st seen this news (check my fb page). But after reading the article my excitement waned slightly. 1st off as you said, this is just only for 3 mos. Then based on ridership they will either scrap it or continue it. But it comes down to cost of fare also. What good is a new flight if the price is going to be through the roof nobody will buy a ticket? 2nd. The plane is basically a jet version of the small twin engine prop puddle jumper that used to fly to LV. I’m not sure if I wana Be on a small plane for that long. Fresno for its size has TERRIBLE jet service. But is the low ridership based on the fact that people just don’t fly in this town? Or is it based on the fact that the prices are just too high? Chicken or the egg syndrome once again here. This overall is a good thing for the city. I know for me if the price is right you betcha Ima Be on one of those flights. I tell ya what, I fly to Seattle often and Alaska Air is DOPE. And with the purchase of Virgin Air..Virgin is ALSO DOPE! So hopefully Virgin Air can come here? I would take Jet Blue over Southwest any day. Fresnans kill me. They always hollering about IKEA andSouthwest. SMh.

    1. I actually like this plane. No middle seats! The roof is lower, but the seats are many times better than the bigger stuff. The United 737s are hot garbage. The fact that its smaller means theres a better chance it will be profitable.

      But yes, we'll have to see what the pricing looks like. If they try and charge $300+ eachw ay like they do to LA and SF, it will fail.

    2. Yep. Without a doubt. I’m unfamiliar with the E 175. But the pics look great. Being that they’re new planes at least the seats will be comfy. Hopefully descent leg room for I’m 6’3” 220lbs. Not a fan at all of the low ceilings.

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