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United Opens New Route from San Francisco to Belize

Beginning in Christmas 2024, United will operate a seasonal weekend route between SFO and the Central American country

by Lauren Smith

July 10, 2024

Photo: Belize. Courtesy of Meritt Thomas / Unsplash

Maya ruins and natural wonders such as the Great Blue Hole will soon be closer than ever for residents of the Bay Area as United opens a new seasonal route between San Francisco (SFO) and Belize City (BZE).

Beginning on December 21, United will operate a redeye flight from its hub at SFO to the Central American country every Saturday.

Belize, which has just under 400,000 people, welcomed 465,000 overnight visitors last year, two-thirds from the United States. Tourists are drawn by the country’s natural marvels, including its coral relief, second only in size to Australia’s and a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkeling, and marine sinkhole, the Great Blue Hole. Other attractions include vast Maya archaeological sites, wildlife sanctuaries, and hundreds of offshore cayes.

Photo: Belize. Courtesy of Alisa Matthews / Unsplash

The route will also open up San Francisco to Belizean travelers and businesspeople. The flights are also timed to sync with United’s transpacific schedule from SFO, enabling one-stop connections between Belize and Asian cities such as Hong Kong (HKG), Singapore (SIN), and Taipei (TPE).

United already operates two or three daily flights between its Houston (IAH) hub and Belize, as well as weekend or seasonal flights from Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), and Newark (EWR).

According to the airline, the outbound flight will depart San Francisco at 12:30 a.m. PST and, after a 5-hour-and-24-minute flight, land at Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport at 07:54 a.m. local time.

The returning UA 2850 will depart Belize at 10:15 a.m. and land in San Francisco six hours later, at 2:24 p.m. PST. The flights will be operated by a Boeing 737 MAX 8, with 16 reclining business class seats, 74 premium economy seats, and 101 economy seats.

Photo: Boeing 737 MAX 9. Courtesy of United Airlines

The new flight to Belize will operate on Saturdays between December 21 and January 4, 2025. Service will resume from March 8 through April 30, taking advantage of Belize’s dry season. To capture summer vacationers, United will also run the route from the end of May through August 17, the Belize Tourism Board said.

“This new route opens a world of possibilities for travelers seeking adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion in a remarkable and unique destination,” Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations for Belize, said in a statement. “We are confident this new flight will significantly boost tourism arrivals from the San Francisco Bay area and further strengthen the ties between Belize and the United States of America.”

Ivar C. Satero, airport director at SFO, added: “For Bay Area travelers seeking a warm-weather getaway this winter, United’s new service will be a welcome addition to their wide range of destinations from SFO. We thank United for their commitment to SFO and are confident this new service will be a success.”

Belize is also connected to the U.S. through American Airlines flights from Charlotte (CLT), Miami (MAI), Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Los Angeles (LAX); Southwest Airlines flights from Baltimore (BLT), Denver, and Houston; and a Delta service from Atlanta (ATL). Last December, JetBlue inaugurated a three-times weekly service from New York-JFK to Belize.

In total this month more than 580 return direct flights will operate between Belize and the United States, according to data from Cirium.