The move is part of United Airlines' plan to cut back in what the company says are unprofitable markets


CLEVELAND -- First it was a reduction in flights, and now Concourse D is officially closed at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

The move is part of United Airlines' plan to cut back in what the company says are unprofitable markets.

Some employees were moved to airports in other cities, while others lost their jobs.

Sixty percent of United flights at Hopkins have been cut.

Day-to-day Concourse D operations have been consolidated into Concourse C.

"That's a very convenient course," says travel agent and owner of Lakewood Travel Donald Miller.

He says United travelers no longer have to make the long trek to or from Concourse D, and other airlines are stepping in flying to attractive destinations.

Miller also believes people are starting to adjust to the initial shock of the United changes.

"It was more of a scare in numbers than it is a scare in reality, I mean, who flys to Erie anyway?" he said.

There are plans in the works to upgrade the terminal, and construction is going on at the airport's Blue Lot to increase safety and access.

The CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Joe Roman, says, "Focusing on profitability and efficiencies for Concourses A, B and C, while we attract new carriers to Hopkins should be the best strategy now."

Airport Director Ricky Smith released the following statement Thursday regarding the closure of Concourse D:

Today, United Airlines has officially consolidatedoperations from Concourse D to Concourse C as theycomplete their draw down of the hub at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE). As part of the consolidation, concessions, including food and beverage locations on Concourse D have closed their operations. We are saddened and disappointed by the situation; however, we will continue work with United Airlines and AIRMALL through this process and develop strategies to mitigate the impact on our existing airline partners and concessionaires.

Airport management will continue to review the airport facility uses in such a way that will enhance customer service and reduce airport operating costs. The City's Workforce Development Office will continue to collaborate with United to provide transitional employment services to employees affected by United's staffing reductions.

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