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After Major Route Expansion, United to Become the Largest Carrier Across Both the Atlantic and Pacific

The airline is increasing nonstop service to international destinations with an additional 50 daily flights this winter

by Rachel Dube

November 8, 2023

Photo: United Airlines. Courtesy of Denver International Airport.

United Airlines has announced a vast summer and winter expansion, which will make the carrier the largest across both the Atlantic and Pacific.

Some new flight routes include the first and only direct flight between the U.S. and Faro, Portugal, Manila, Philippines, and Christchurch, New Zealand.

Photo: Polaris business class. Courtesy of United Airlines

“United’s industry-leading international network has always set it apart from the competition, and we continue to find new ways to bring our customers the locations and schedules that they want,” says Patrick Quayle, United’s Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances.

“Whether customers are looking to travel during peak season or shoulder season, visit the most popular tourism destinations or discover a hidden gem, the scope and scale of our network makes United the easy choice for transatlantic travel.”

Winter Europe and South Pacific Expansion

With 50 additional daily flights compared to last winter, United is ramping up its nonstop service to international destinations worldwide. Most notably, the airline has become the first U.S. carrier to fly directly to Manila, Philippines.

United will also be the only U.S. airline to fly between the U.S. and Christchurch, New Zealand, beginning this December.

Other notable additions include the service return to Bejing from San Francisco, along with new flights to Auckland, Brisbane, Hong Kong, and Tokyo Narita. The airline will also have extended services to Athens, Barcelona, Rome, and Paris to help meet the growing demand for international travel.

Photo: Auckland, New Zealand. Courtesy of Sulthan Auliya / Unsplash

Some other new routes include Los Angeles to Auckland, Hong Kong, Tokyo Narita, and Brisbane. This adds to the fact that the airline’s transpacific network is 94 percent larger this winter than last winter, and it solidifies United’s place as the largest U.S. carrier in the South Pacific region.

In total, the U.S.-based carrier will fly to more than 110 international destinations. Its schedule will grow by more than 25 percent versus last year, the airline’s most significant winter expansion in history. In addition, United is currently the only carrier to offer year-round, nonstop service to Dubai, Geneva, Edinburgh, Berlin, and Amman.

Latin America & Caribbean Growth

This year, the airline introduced two new Caribbean routes to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Montego Bay, Jamaica, from its Denver hub, solidifying its position as the largest U.S. carrier to fly to Central America.

Currently, United has increased service from its hubs in Chicago, Newark, and Washington-Dulles to destinations across the Caribbean, including Aruba, Bonaire, Grand Cayman Islands, and The Bahamas.

Photo: Aruba. Courtesy of Martin Passchier / Unsplash

The airline will increase service to regional destinations, including San Jose and Liberia in Costa Rica, San Salvador, Belize City, and Guatemala City.

During the winter peak, United will offer more than 200 weekly flights to Cancun from eight U.S. cities. This is the most in United’s history and will go alongside increased service from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta and San Jose del Cabo.

Summer Transatlantic Expansion

As with the massive winter expansion, the airline will offer nonstop transatlantic flights to 38 cities, including the first direct flight between the U.S. and Faro, Portugal. The service will commence on May 24. This expansion follows the successful winter expansion and is expected to provide greater accessibility and convenience for travelers.

Photo: Piazza di Spagna in Rome, Italy. Courtesy of Vlas Telino studio/Shutterstock

The carrier will also have new flights to Reyjavik, Rome, Brussels, and Malaga. Most notably, the airline will resume seasonal daily flights between Reykjavik and Newark for the first time since summer 2022.

To keep up with demand, United will resume its service to popular regional destinations two months earlier, including Lisbon, Barcelona, Nice, Milan, and Naples.

Boost in Florida and Ski Destinations

Starting from November 28, United will be launching its first-ever direct flights to Key West, Florida. The airline will offer non-stop flights to Key West International Airport (EYW) from its major hubs, including Newark, Chicago, Houston, and the Washington, D.C. area. Additionally, United will be increasing the number of flights on essential routes such as Chicago to Fort Myers, Florida, Denver to Fort Lauderdale, and Chicago to Miami.

Photo: Key West, Florida. Courtesy of Jametlene Reskp / Unsplash

United is also increasing its services to Orlando from Chicago by deploying its larger Boeing 777 aircraft, which will double the number of seats available for passengers. Passengers from Cleveland will have access to new daily nonstop flights to Tampa and a second daily flight to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, and Orlando during the winter season.

Moreover, the airline is expanding winter flights from Newark to popular ski destinations like Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Vail, Steamboat Springs, and Montrose/Telluride in Colorado; and Bozeman, Montana. United’s commitment to these winter wonderlands is evident as they expand their Florida capacity by 20 percent, offering more flights to the Sunshine State than ever before.

Photo: United Airlines, first A321neo. Courtesy of Airbus

Furthermore, United is not only expanding its Florida service but is also introducing its newest Airbus A321neo on select routes to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Fort Myers starting in December. This modern addition promises a more comfortable and efficient travel experience.