United Airlines has announced that it is tripling the size of its August schedule compared to its June 2020 schedule, adding nearly 25,000 domestic and international flights compared to July 2020. The airline plans to fly 40% of its overall schedule in August, as compared to August 2019.
Travel demand is still low when compared to figures at the end of 2019, but United Airlines has found that customers are “slowly returning to flying, with a preference for leisure destinations, trips to reunite with friends and family, and getaways to places that encourage social distancing”.
The findings are backed up by the USA’s TSA, according to which, more than 600,000 passengers passed through airport security checkpoints on Monday, 29 June – the first time since March 19 that those numbers exceeded 25% of pre-Covid levels.
The expanded flying schedule will be implemented in line with United’s overhauled cleaning and safety procedures, named United CleanPlus, and the airline is extending its waiver of change fees and award redeposit fees for reservations through to 31 July.
United plans to add more than 350 daily flights from its USA hubs in August, including doubling the number of flights from New York/Newark compared to July. This increase includes more flights to mountain and national park destinations such as Aspen, Colorado; Bangor, Maine; Bozeman, Montana; and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
For international operations,United is scheduled to fly 25% of its schedule in August, up from 16% in July. The August schedule will include the return of its Tahiti route and additional flights to Hawaii, the Caribbean and Mexico. Across the Atlantic, United will add more flights and options to Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Munich, Paris and Zurich.
For transatlantic routes, United plans to offer customers more opportunities to get to Europe and beyond, with more flying from Chicago, New York/Newark and San Francisco. Highlights include:
- Resuming service between Chicago and Brussels and Frankfurt.
- Resuming service between New York/Newark and Brussels, Munich and Zurich.
- Resuming service between San Francisco and London.
Upon government approval, United will restart daily service between Delhi and San Francisco and New York/Newark.
“We’re taking the same data-driven, realistic approach to growing our schedule as we did in drawing it down at the start of the pandemic,” said Ankit Gupta, United’s vice president of domestic network planning.
“Demand is coming back slowly and we’re building in enough capacity to stay ahead of the number of people travelling. And we’re adding in flights to places we know customers want to travel to, like outdoor recreation destinations where social distancing is easier, but doing so in a way that’s flexible and allows us to adjust should that demand change.”
US domestic expansion
United plans to fly 48% of its 2019 domestic USA schedule in August compared to 2019 levels, up from 30% in July. Travellers in search of more socially distant vacation options like beach, mountain and national park destinations will see more opportunities for leisure travel in United’s August schedule. Highlights of the updated schedule include:
- Adding more than 600 daily flights to more than 200 airports across the USA, including the resumption of 50 routes from July to August
- Expanding flights at 147 airports across the USA
- Increasing connectivity in United’s mid-continental hubs, including Chicago, Denver and Houston
- Doubling the number of flights from New York/Newark
- Returning around 90 aircraft back into service, including adding more CRJ-550 service between New York/Newark and St. Louis; Indianapolis; Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati; Norfolk, Virginia; and Columbus, Ohio
- Increasing service between Hawaii and its hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco
- Resuming service to more Hawaiian destinations, including Lihue from San Francisco and Hilo from Los Angeles
For travellers wishing to cross the Pacific in August, United is scheduled to restart three-times-weekly service connecting the mainland USA and Tahiti. In July, United made several changes to its Asia Pacific schedule. Highlights include:
- Starting new service, five times weekly, between Chicago and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. United will continue operating daily service to Tokyo Narita from New York/Newark and San Francisco
- Resuming service between Hong Kong and San Francisco five days a week, with service continuing to Singapore
- Resuming service to Seoul, South Korea three days a week
- Resuming service to Shanghai from San Francisco two days a week
United is expanding across Latin America and the Caribbean, with 35 new routes for August. Highlights include:
- Resuming service between Houston and Lima
- Resuming service between New York/Newark and Sao Paulo
- Resuming service between Mexico City and Chicago, New York/Newark and San Francisco
- Adding more ways to get to Cancun from Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York/Newark and San Francisco
- Resuming service to San Salvador and Guatemala City from Houston, New York/Newark, Los Angeles and Washington DC
- Increasing the number of flights between Houston and Mexico City, Cancun, Guadalajara and Leon in Mexico; Panama City, Panama
- Increasing the number of flights between New York/Newark and Punta Cana, Santiago and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic