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Planes make a changeover

Laura Sturza

Passengers with tickets for United Airlines flights from

Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport will depart as scheduled, but

starting Sunday, travelers flying to Denver and San Francisco will

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have additional flight options.

Some United Express flights to those destinations will be on

smaller, 50-seat regional jets that are an upgrade from traditional

turbo-propeller planes because they are faster, quieter and more

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spacious, United Airlines spokesman Chris Braithwaite said.

The change means more choices because four round-trip flights will

go to Denver versus two, and eight round-trips will fly to San

Francisco versus seven, Braithwaite said.

None of the new departures or arrivals occurs during the

airport’s voluntary curfew of 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., though one existing

United Airlines flight to San Francisco departs at 6:40 a.m. daily,

Airport Authority spokesman Victor Gill said.

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Ticket rates are unlikely to be affected.

“A price change would not be tied to a change of planes,”

Braithwaite said. “The market dictates price, not the size of the

planes.”

Though more jets will be taking off, they are quieter than the

Boeing 737-300 planes used for other flights, Gill said.

“We have never had a noise complaint about [these regional jets],”

Gill said.

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Though the flights will be ticketed by United and the planes will

have the carrier’s logo, they will be operated by SkyWest Airlines.

The single-cabin jets feature leather seats in a two-by-two

arrangement, so every seat is along a window or an aisle, SkyWest

Airlines spokesman Phil Gee said.

Because SkyWest’s smaller, regional jets are more cost effective

to operate than larger planes, the change is aimed at helping

United’s bottom line.

“United is restructuring during Chapter 11 [bankruptcy filing],”

Gee said. “Part of their return to profitability includes more use of

the regional jet.”


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