Birmingham will have no direct air route to America for the first time in 20 years

Gavin Haines
The news is a further blow to the second city - (C)2015 Carson Liu, all rights reserved

The only scheduled service from Birmingham to the US will be axed this winter due to poor ticket sales, United Airlines has announced.

The carrier’s final flight between Birmingham and New York (Newark) will take off on October 5, 2017 – passengers with existing bookings are being offered refunds or seats on alternative flights.

“We have regretfully taken this decision because of the route’s poor financial performance,” said a spokesperson for the airline, which had been running the service for 20 years.

United Airlines has been running the service for 20 years Credit: GETTY

The viability of a route between Brum and the US was called into question in January this year when American Airlines axed its Birmingham to New York (JFK) route after just one year.

The most logical way of travelling between Birmingham and the US from October will be with Icelandair, going via Reykjavik; indirect flights are also available through KLM and Air France.

United’s announcement comes as a blow for the UK's second city, but Birmingham Airport said it is optimistic about lining up a replacement carrier to take over from United.  

A spokesperson for the airport told TTG Media: “We are in negotiations with another airline, we are hoping to secure a non-stop route shortly. We are negotiating two non-stop routes to the US.

The last flight from Brum to New York (pictured) will take off in October Credit: GETTY

“We are pretty certain about it, it’s in the final stages of being agreed, it should be announced by the end of the month.”

As well as sounding the death knell for its Birmingham to New York service, United announced that it would be suspending flights from Glasgow and Shannon to New York (Newark) over the winter.

The US carrier isn’t the only airline to be axing routes. British Airways has announced it is scrapping two services from Heathrow to Norway this winter – one to Bergen and the other to Stavanger – because they are no longer “commercially viable”.


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