Doubtful - UA will likely re-focus their ER4 flying back east while moving more CR2s out west to fill the void from AX being shutdown. IAH will be a hodgepodge and really the only base I could see C5 opening if they are able to build some substantial flow through from the rest of the network.
While Lightsaber is the one who made the original comment, I would say UA has a much harder time making the regional side profitable due to their specific scope clause. They are the ones with the smallest number of 65/70/76 seat jets and biggest batch of 50-seaters. That makes cost that much more important. That doesn't impact DL or AA to nearly the same impact.
They are only sized that way because they have decided to be sized that way. The UALPA scope section with regards to outsourced Regionals is practically word for word a copy of Delta’s. UAL just never exercised the option to buy a NSNB (C series or EMB) that would unlock additional 76 seaters, and also mandate a drawdown of the 50 seaters. If they had, the end result would have matched the number of 76 seaters and 50 seaters that Delta has.
So again, how exactly did scope mean “UAL has to be extra brutal with regionals to get the flights break even” when the scope is the same as Delta’s? It is not scope’s fault, but due to management decisions if UAL regionals are more expensive then Delta’s. (A fact I’m not sure is actually true)
United scope is different from Delta. United’s will shrink with a reduction of mainline block hours, so getting the cheapest cost for whatever jets are allowed to fly is the key.
Here is DALPA’s section regarding mainline to Regional flying:
“The Company will maintain a minimum ratio of revenue block hours of Company flying on all narrowbody aircraft and all B-767-300 (non – ER) aircraft (MBH) to revenue block hours of flying in category A and C operations (DBH) under the following chart:
The Company’s compliance with the minimum ratio of MBH to DBH will be measured for the first time on July 1, 2014 and then measured again each succeeding July 1 thereafter, in each instance for the preceding 12 months on a weighted basis by the number of 76-seat aircraft in category A or C operations each month.”
Here is UALPA’s relevant section:
1-C-1-f Scheduled Aircraft Block Hours of United Express Flying as Percentage of Block Hours of Company Flying on Single-Aisle Aircraft
1-C-1-f-(1) In any Rolling Twelve-Month Period ending the first full calendar month following date of signing of this Agreement or later, the Company shall not Schedule or permit the Scheduling of aircraft block hours of United Express Flying (excluding block hours operated by 37-Seat Turboprop Aircraft) exceeding the maximum percentage of Scheduled aircraft block hours of Company Flying on single-aisle Company Aircraft (“Max. % of UAXBH to SBH”) set forth in the following chart.