A top Columbia business leader predicts United Airlines will return to Columbia Regional Airport (COU). The Chicago-based airline suspended service at COU during the pandemic. Columbia Regional Economic Development Incorporated (REDI) president Stacey Button describes United as a great partner.
“We continue to have conversations with United (Airlines). And as I mentioned they did suspend service, not exit the community specifically. So we do expect them to come back,” Button tells 939 the Eagle’s “CEO Roundtable.”
United suspended flights at Columbia Regional Airport in January 2022. COU airport manager Mike Parks told 939 the Eagle News at the time that the decision involved pilot and staffing shortages. Mr. Parks has also predicted that United will be back.
Button is optimistic about the future of COU, especially with its $23-million new terminal. She tells listeners that they’re currently talking to United and Delta Airlines, as well as to some low-cost carriers.
“The good news is that quite honestly the airlines are very familiar with Columbia, Missouri. We’ve definitely got great placement on the map when they look at fleet management. Columbia, center of the state, pretty equal distance between St. Louis and Kansas City,” says Button.
Governor Mike Parson has told 939 the Eagle that he believes the new COU terminal will help make Columbia a top medical destination. You can hear the full interview with REDI’s Stacey Button and REDI’s Jay Sparks here.