The whole thing with United back then makes for an interesting story. Historians will recall that United Airlines, back in the early 1980s, was locked in battle with the other two trunk carriers, TWA and AA
. As a way to provide some differentiation, United launched their '50 States' campaign, where they became the only carrier with mainline service to all 50 States. Of course, having a presence in Hawaii was important because I'm not sure either AA
or TWA was serving the 50th State in 1983.
Anyway, United had to find one city in each state it didn't serve. That meant Manchester, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine (I think Bangor came later, but not sure, and I believe that Burlington, Vermont was already being served...but again, not sure).
was an experiment...a means to an end (the '50 States' campaign). But it became quite a successful station on its own. The initial flights routed through PVD
from time to time, but it was quickly clear that MHT
could support its own flights. Two flights turned into four, and 737s turned into 727-200s. United even had 3x daily 737-200s and 737-300s between MHT
, when they had a hub there. That was in the early 1990s. I flew many, many times out of that old terminal...and from the new one when it debuted in 1994. Rarely were the flights less than half-full, and many times they were oversold (particularly coming back from ORD
The epilog to all of this is that PWM
are gone, while MHT
will be fielding its 4x mainline flights as they have all along. Next month, two of those four daily flights will use 757s. So much credit is due to United for largely staying the course at MHT
. These days, mainline service is yanked without a second thought. Kudos to United for seeing that MHT
is a valuable station on its own, able to support flights independent of its proximity to Boston.
Chris in NH