United Airlines changes may affect southeastern New Mexico

Port Authority Atlantic City Airport
(Michael Ein/The Press of Atlantic City via AP)

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) – United Airlines plans to use larger aircraft in southeastern New Mexico and that could mean higher subsidy payouts from the city of Hobbs and Lea County.

The Hobbs New-Sun reports it was announced at a recent Lea County Commission meeting United Airlines plans to retire 50 passenger Embraer EMB145 aircraft that currently serve the Lea County Regional airport. The jets that would replace the older aircraft both carry around 70 passengers.

But these changes could create some issues if the number of fliers continues to fall as it has for the past few years. Hobbs and Lea County supply a subsidy to ensure the airline does not lose money operating the flight between Hobbs and Houston.

The subsidy provides a “no–loss” guarantee to the airlines for operating the flights.

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