United seeks use of 24 more gates after Denver expansion

589
A lone traveller moves past the empty check-in gates of United Airlines in the main terminal at Denver International Airport .

DENVER  |  United Airlines, the biggest carrier at Denver International Airport, seeks to use an additional 24 gates, including 13 being added as part of a $1.5 billion expansion project.

The airport has asked the Denver City Council to approve a lease amendment to include the additional gates.

United officials want the airline to use 12 new gates and 11 existing ones on Concourse A. The airline also seeks a new gate on Concourse B as soon as this year, United officials told The Denver Post on Friday.

“Denver is the fastest-growing hub in our network and most successful hub in our network. Geographically, we are very well positioned,” said Steve Jaquith, a vice president with United who runs its Denver hub.

The airline currently leases 66 gates on Concourse B, 11 on Concourse A and one on Concourse C.

Under the plan, some of the smaller gates used for 50-to-70-seat United Express flights would be converted for use by larger aircraft, allowing a significant increase in flight traffic.

United departures from Denver could jump from about 500 per day now to 700 per day by 2025, Jaquith said.

United accounted for 44% of the airport’s traffic in 2019. Denver-based Frontier Airlines and fellow budget carrier Southwest Airlines, out of Dallas, also operate hubs at the airport.

United is first to formally apply for changes to its lease to absorb new gates, airport officials say.

“We are currently in active use and lease negotiations with other airlines but cannot confirm yet when these will be finalized,” DIA spokeswoman Emily Williams wrote in an email Friday.