United Airlines is adding nearly 25,000 international and domestic flights to its August 2020 schedule. The increase triples the number of flights the carrier offered in June 2020 and represents 40 percent of its August 2019 schedule.
“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.”
United has overhauled its cleaning and safety procedures under United CleanPlus and is giving customers more flexibility when booking extending its waiver of change fees and award redeposit fees for reservations through July 31, 2020.
More flights to mountain and national park destinations
Domestically, United plans to fly 48 percent of its 2019 schedule in August compared to 2019 levels, up from 30 percent in July. This increase includes more flights to social distancing-friendly mountain and national park destinations like Aspen, Colorado; Bangor, Maine; Bozeman, Montana; and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Other highlights of the increase include:
- Adding more than 600 daily flights to more than 200 airports across the United States, including the resumption of 50 routes from July to August.
- Expanding flights at 147 airports across the United States.
- 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 more CRJ-550 service between New York/Newark and St. Louis, MO; Indianapolis, IN; Richmond, VA; Cincinnati, OH; Norfolk, VA; and Columbus, OH.
- 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.
Increasing global lift
According to Patrick Quayle, United’s vice-president of International Network and Alliances, the carrier’s international schedule continues to be guided by customer demand, with capacity being added to regions with relative strength. “For August, we’ve seen increasing demand for leisure travel and have added options to places like Cancun and reinstated service to Tahiti. Additionally, we are further building out service to partner hubs like Frankfurt and Zurich, where customers can connect on to a wide array of destinations,” he explains.
United plans to fly 25 percent of its international schedule in August, up from 16 percent in July. Highlights of the expanded service 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.
- Starting a new five-times weekly service between Chicago and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, while continuing 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.
- Resuming service between Houston, TX and Lima, Peru.
- Resuming service between New York/Newark and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
- Resuming service between Mexico City and Chicago, New York/Newark and San Francisco.
- Resuming service to San Salvador and Guatemala City from Houston, New York/Newark, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
- 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.