A United Airlines executive says her industry has been forever changed by the events and economic pressures of the past couple of years.United’s Shelley Longmuir says the industry “has come through something akin to the perfect storm” with “all the negative factors convening at once and being accelerated by September 11th.” Despite that “perfect storm,” Longmuir says her company is still optimistic about the future. Longmuir addressed the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce yesterday, and stopped short of pledging service in the long term at the Eastern Iowa Airport.Longmuir said United has a commitment to communities the size of Cedar Rapids and will be “right-sizing” the aircraft to those communities and continue in partnership “where at all possible.” Longmuir says cities the size of Cedar Rapids have a “valuable customer base.” Competitors like Southwest, a low-frills carrier, have put added pressure on United.
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