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United to end Cairns-Guam route

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 24, 2015
A file image taken in May 2015 of a United Boeing 737-800 at Guam Airport. (Wikimedia Commons)
A United Boeing 737-800 at Guam Airport. (Wikimedia Commons)

United will end its twice weekly flight to Cairns in September as part of service reductions from the airline’s Guam hub.

The last service between Cairns and Guam, which are operated by Boeing 737s with flight numbers UA94 and UA95, will be on September 26 and 27, United said in a statement.

The Star Alliance member is also cancelling its daily Guam-Seoul Incheon flights from September 30.

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“We have taken this decision because the services’ financial performance did not meet our expectations,” United said.

“We will contact customers with bookings for flights beyond those dates to either offer them alternate travel plans or provide refunds. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”

The Cairns-Guam route, which according to the Airline Route website began in 1998 with Boeing 727 aircraft, was inherited from Continental Micronesia when United and Continental merged in 2010.

A 1991 Continental brochure showed the airline also previously served Brisbane and Sydney from its Guam hub.

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United senior vice president of worldwide sales Dave Hilfman told Australian Aviation in a October 2014 interview the Cairns-Guam route carried mostly leisure passengers, with some military traffic.

“That tends to be a little more sensitive to the economic ups and downs be it in Guam or in Australia,” Hilfman said.

United flies from Los Angeles to Melbourne and Sydney, as well as between Sydney and San Francisco.

Besides United’s Guam flights, Cairns Airport also has international service to Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Philippine Airlines is due to start Manila-Cairns-Auckland service in December.

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8 Comments

  • Qing Gü

    says:

    Doesnt suprise me, i flew CNS – GUM on a buisness trip in Febuary and it was less than half full. United could try LAX – BNE in the future

  • Marc

    says:

    United Cairns-Guam ticket prices were/are enormous.

  • Marc

    says:

    The prices were steep on this route.

  • Dave

    says:

    A very disappointing step being made by United after 18 years of service. The quality of service was at its peak immediately prior to the Continental/United amalgamation in 2011 when the service was being operated 4 times per week and also brought a lot of Japanese tourists to Cairns. On the numerous trips I have made on the service the airfares were very well priced and not expensive. The overnight flying time is ideal for the route. It is the cost of accommodation in Guam that has become expensive, rising 60% within 18 months. It is the end of the only service connecting Australia to Micronesia, and also the end of what is one of the last services from Guam to the Southern Hemisphere. A very bad manoeuvre by United and thus you can see why United has a very poor reputation on its Sydney to Los Angeles/San Francisco services.

  • Tim

    says:

    Disappointed but not surprised. United has done nothing but run down the very good service they inherited from Air Mike.

  • Grumpyoldfart

    says:

    Guam was one place I would like to have visited but the flights were far too expensive.

  • Dave

    says:

    I have always paid a good price for the United Airlines service between Cairns and Guam. The return fares that I’ve paid are all between $810 and $870 since 2008 and I consider it to be a very good return fare for the 5 hour flight each way. Continental Airline operated the service before United took it over in the 2011 completion of the joint airline amalgamation, and they had been operating the service on a 4 times weekly basis. Unfortunately no other airline are likely to take over the service. The Cairns to Guam service would be an ideal international route for Virgin Australia to take over as they could grow it from an E190 service to a B737 service if they wished to.

  • Jill

    says:

    My husband and I are/were booked on a flight from LAX- HNL-GUM-CNS in October. Last night I was looking on the United website to see what time we land in Cairns. The ‘new’ itinerary shows our final destination as Guam. I was so puzzled as to why Cairns is not on there anymore. Now I know why. Can’t believe they haven’t contacted me about this change. Ugghhh.. will call when the sun comes up.

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