That seems mostly true but doesn't apply to CRW. Only larger airport around 2 hours away is slightly larger LEX, they get cut too. CVG, CMH & PIT are all 3-3.5 hour drive away and CLT 4 hours. If permanent, this leaves UA with only 3x to ORD on a normal day from CRW as IAD was cut in Feb.
Some of our posters with CRW insight can probably elaborate upon this, but I'd always heard IAH-CRW was heavily energy industry-focused. Is a decline in related business travel partly to blame?
Not actually energy per se, but chemicals, plastics in particular (slightly splitting hairs there, I know). Dow Chemical has large facilities in both Charleston and south of Houston, and several other chemical companies have a presence in both. However, the chemical presence in Charleston has been on an overall decline for years (my family left when my dad's chemical engineering job was moved to... Houston), so who knows how much traffic is still going back and forth. I had been told as well that that route was supported by corporate contracts, so if the presence of those companies in Charleston shrinks below a certain amount it's easy to see those contracts becoming untenable. I have no information that such is what actually happened here, though it does seem logical.
In addition to that there used to be a strong adminstrative and regional HQ preseance from the O&G companies in CRW. Most of those were consolidated in IAH or OKC a few years ago so now it's mostly just travel for operations/engineering specialists.
I'm curious of this helps or hurts AA relaunching DFW from CRW. Raja recently stated we were on the list probably for 2020 but cited IAH as a reason to compete with UA. DFW is a much larger connecting hub than IAH so I'd hope it would help as it would then be the only westward flight from CRW.
717, 733, 734, 738, 739, 744, 752, 763, 772, 77W, 789, A319, A320, A321, A332, A333, A359, MD88, CRJ, CR7, CR9, DH1, DH2, DH3, S340, ER4, E170, E175, E190/CO, NW, US, AC, NH, AA, UA, DL, WN, WS, SK, VY, LA, QF, AR, AV, MH, KA, AS