A recent string of flight cancellations at the Redding Municipal Airport has manager Rod Dinger “very frustrated,” and seeking answers from SkyWest Airlines, United Airlines, and the San Francisco International Airport.
On Wednesday, all flights out of Redding were cancelled due to air traffic control operations at SFO, and only one flight – the last one of the day – made it to Redding.
Runway construction at SFO has impacted operations for all airlines. However, according to Dinger, in recent weeks, Redding has taken more than its fair share of cancellations compared to other small airports.
United Express, operated by SkyWest, serves Chico, Eureka/Arcata, Medford, Sacramento, and a host of other cities on the west coast from San Francisco, none of which have come close to Redding’s cancellation rate, Dinger said.
Dinger told KRCR News Channel 7 he contacted SkyWest, United, and the airport as recently as two weeks ago, asking why the pain of delays and cancellations isn’t being more evenly distributed as he was promised in the lead-up to SFO’s construction project. He was told the issue would be looked into, after expressing concern that, “for some reason, that doesn’t appear to be the case in practice.”
“It’s truly hurting our community on so many levels,” Dinger said.
For its part, the San Francisco International Airport confirmed it is aware of Dinger’s concerns, and that the two airports are in discussions about the matter.
“We don’t want any airport to be disproportionately affected,” said Doug Yakel, a spokesman for SFO, while cautioning it’s too early to draw specific conclusions about the number of cancellations into and out of Redding.
Yakel also pointed out that airports themselves are not allowed to influence airline schedules. Those decisions are left up to the airlines themselves, and the FAA control tower.
United Airlines referred inquiries to SkyWest.
Marissa Snow, a representative for SkyWest, said many factors are considered when a flight is delayed, including the extent of the ground delay, fleet and network needs, and the number of passengers affected. She said cancellation is a last resort.
Snow was unable to confirm the status of talks between the airline and Dinger, and had no available statistics on how the number of recent cancellations into and out of Redding compared to other airports.