United Airlines

Eric Salard / Flickr

Starting this week, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport will be the nation’s only mid-sized airport with the three biggest ultra-low cost carriers. Allegiant Air begins service Wednesday joining Spirit and Frontier.

Cockpit of jet airliner during servicing
Tim Rudell / WKSU

In 2014 United Airlines said it was shutting down its hub at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.  This came after the U.S. Airways hub closing in Pittsburgh and Delta drastically scaling back operations at its Cincinnati hub. In the first part of our series "Grounded," WKSU’s Tim Rudell looks at what dehubbing is and what the downgrade means to northeast Ohio.

Dehubbing is the back-side of hub-and-spoke, a business model widely adopted by major air carriers following federal deregulation of the airline industry in 1978.