At this time, approximately 100 of Raleigh-Durham International Airport's 400 daily flights have been canceled for today.
Continental Airlines will start offering direct flights from Raleigh-Durham International Airport to Cancun this Saturday, marking the first time two airlines fly to the Mexican resort town from RDU airport.
Continental will fly to and from Cancun every Saturday, mirroring the schedule in place for Delta Airlines. Continental will celebrate its inaugural flight to Cancun with a live mariachi band playing at the Continental ticket counter in Terminal 2.
Airport spokeswoman Mindy Hamlin said Continental's new flight is an economic decision.
"If they have confidence in the market they will add service," said RDU spokeswoman Mindy Hamlin.
RDU officials also said today that they saw an increase in passengers in January and a 1.5 percent boost in passengers in 2010 over 2009.
Some good news for Triangle travelers: Southwest Airlines will consider adding nonstop flights to the New York area from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which could increase competition and bring down fares.
Southwest announced an agreement on Friday to lease space at New Jersey's Newark airport from Continental Airlines.
The bad news is that RDU is only on Southwest's list of possible destinations from Newark, and so are most of the other airports the carrier serves, spokeswoman Ashley Dillon said Friday.
Airline officials expect to announce routes from Newark by November. Flights would start in March with a full schedule in place by June.
At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, the world's largest airline will still trail rivals Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines.
United and Continental announced this morning that they're joining forces to form United Continental Holdings. If the deal wins shareholder and antitrust approvals later this year, the company would pass Delta as the world's largest carrier.
But at RDU, the combined United Continental would still offer fewer flights than Delta, American or Southwest. From RDU, United offers direct flights to Washington Dulles and Chicago O'Hare, while Continental has nonstops to Houston, Cleveland and Newark.
In 2009, Continental handled 5.87 percent of the flights at RDU, while United handled 4 percent.
Delta merged with Northwest Airlines to take the top spot at RDU last year, with 24.12 percent of flights. American and American Eagle followed with 22.88 percent. Southwest was close behind with 21.25 percent.
It's too soon to tell how the United-Continental union will effect RDU, said airport spokesman Andrew Sawyer.
The carriers are merging with the goal of boosting revenue, especially from international and corporate travel. Consumer advocates have warned that reduced competition in the airline industry could hurt consumers.