CLEVELAND -- Cleveland businesses are making an effort to fly United Airlines to maintain their hub at Hopkins Airport.
"We made a conscious decision to fly United even if it costs a little more," says Mike Stanek, Chief Financial Officer of Hunt Imaging, LLC, in Berea, a company which makes toner for printers.
"Our little operation, which has 38 employees, now flies United Airlines 95 percent of the time," Stanek told WKYC. "We recognize the importance of having United's hub at Hopkins Airport."
Hunt Imaging is one of many Northeast Ohio businesses, large and small, which are part of an effort called United for Cleveland's Hub.
The idea, supported by the Council of Smaller Enterprises, The Greater Cleveland Partnership, Positively Cleveland, and others, asks businesses to choose United Airlines for personal and business travel.
Until October 1, 2012, United is bound by an agreement to maintain at least 90 percent of the flights they had at the time of their merger with Continental two years ago.
After that day, United has the option of reducing service at Hopkins if it's financially necessary.
"We have an agreement, but we don't look at that as a hard and fast date because we have been working so cooperatively with United," says Joe Roman, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.
He points to many businesses which have agreed to support United, and says the airline is impressed with the effort and commitment.
United spokesman Joe Micucci agreed. In a statement, he said, "Cleveland is one of United's 10 hubs. We continue working closely with area business leaders and the city to provide a viable and sustainable future for Cleveland air service."
Through July of this year, two-thirds of all passengers flying in or out of Hopkins Airport have been on United Flights. That's a total of 3,343,000 United customers.