United Airlines today announced the largest transatlantic expansion in their history, including ten new flights and five new destinations – Amman, Jordan; Bergen, Norway; Azores, Portugal; Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands.
All of the new routes, which are set to begin in Spring 2022, are not served by any other North American carrier. Additionally, next year, United will add new flights to five popular European destinations: Berlin, Dublin, Milan, Munich and Rome.
Lastly, United will launch seven routes, that were interrupted due to the pandemic, to Bangalore, Frankfurt, Tokyo's Haneda Airport, Nice and Zurich. Flights are subject to government approval.
United will begin a new capital to capital service between Washington, DC and Amman, Jordan starting May 5th. United will be the only North American carrier flying direct to Amman, with service three times weekly on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal
United will add a third Portuguese destination to their network with brand new flights between New York/Newark and Ponta Delgada in the Azores beginning May 13th. This daily service joins United's existing flights to Porto, which will return in March, and Lisbon, which the airline is currently operating from New York/Newark and will resume from Washington, DC next summer.
United will fly a brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, featuring United's new signature interior with enhanced seat back entertainment with Bluetooth connectivity and overhead bin space for every customer.
Beginning May 20th United will become the only US carrier to fly to Norway, with flights launching between New York/Newark and Bergen. United will offer three times weekly service on a Boeing 757-200.
Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
United is expanding their Spanish beach getaway destinations with three times weekly flights between New York/Newark and Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands, launching June 2nd with a Boeing 767-300ER. This will be the first and only flight between the US and Mallorca and will add to United's existing service to Madrid and Barcelona.
Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
United is also launching new flight from New York/Newark to Tenerife. United will be the only airline to fly direct between the Canary Islands and North America, with three-times weekly service launching June 9th with a Boeing 757-200.
Expanded European Service
United is also adding flights to some of Europe's most iconic cities in anticipation of a resurgence in visitors. Next spring United will add:
- New daily flights between Denver and Munich – joining existing service from Denver to Frankfurt and London which is expected to resume in March
- New daily flights between Chicago and Milan, joining existing seasonal flights between Chicago and Rome
- New daily capital to capital service between Washington, D.C. and Berlin
- An additional daily flight from New York/Newark to Dublin and Rome
Re-launch 7 More Routes
In addition to these new routes, United will begin seven routes that were interrupted by the pandemic:
- Daily flights between San Francisco and Bangalore beginning May 26th
- Daily flights between New York/Newark and Nice beginning April 29th
- A second daily flight between New York/Newark and Frankfurt beginning April 23rd
- Daily flights between Chicago and Zurich beginning April 23rd
- Flights from Washington, DC, Los Angeles and New York/Newark to Tokyo's Haneda airport by March 26th
An Upbeat CEO on Transatlantic
When I met with Scott Kirby, United Airlines CEO at IATA AGM in Boston, he was very upbeat on the Transatlantic market recovery and thinks the next summer will be the busiest season ever.
"Europe should recover to pre-crisis levels in 2022. Current bookings to and from Europe are already higher compared to 2019, there is a lot of pent-up demand" Kirby said.
"My guess is that next summer will be the busiest over the Atlantic ever. There is a huge desire to travel."United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby
Moving TransPacific Fleet to Transatlantic
During my interview with United CEO Scott Kirby, he told me that the dedicated 50-60 wide-body aircraft, which United operates on Transpacific routes, will be redeployed. “We are by far the largest US airline to Asia. Now we re-deploy many of these Pacific fleet aircraft to Europe as well domestically, as well as on newly added flights to Africa, India and the Middle East.“