United Airlines B787-9
United Airlines B787-9

United Announces Major Asia-Pacific Expansion

United Airlines has announced that it will expand its Transpacific network with new flights to Manila, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong, and Taipei. Starting in October 2023, it will add 28 weekly flights to United’s Asia-Pacific network.

United will become the first U.S. airline to offer direct flights from the continental U.S. to Manila, while also adding more nonstop flights to Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Taipei. It will serve a total of 15 long-haul international destinations across the Pacific this winter, surpassing all other U.S. airlines combined.

San Francisco (SFO) – Manila (MNL), Philippines

Starting 29th October, United will be the only U.S. airline with non-stop transpacific flights to the Philippines, with the launch of its daily service between San Francisco and Manila. In addition to its current flights to Manila from Guam and Palau, United Airlines will introduce a new daily service on a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

UA191: San Francisco to Manila departing at 12:35 AM and arriving at 6:50 AM (+1 day)
UA190: Manila to San Francisco departing at 9:55 AM and arriving at 7:20 AM

Los Angeles (LAX) – Hong Kong (HKG)

As part of its expansion in the Asia region, United Airlines, the sole U.S. carrier offering non-stop flights to Hong Kong, will enhance its service by introducing a new daily direct flight from Los Angeles starting October 28th.

While the airline already serves Hong Kong from San Francisco, it is extending its presence to its second California hub. The daily route will be operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. With this addition, United will have a total of three daily flights to Hong Kong from Los Angeles and San Francisco this winter.

UA801: Los Angeles to Hong Kong departing at 11:10 AM and arriving at 6:05 PM (+1 day)
UA802: Hong Kong to Los Angeles departing at 8:05 PM and arriving at 5:45 PM

United Airlines MileagePlus Award Sale US To Japan
United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Los Angeles (LAX) – Tokyo/Narita (NRT)

Beginning October 28th, United Airlines will resume daily flights between Los Angeles and Tokyo-Narita, operated on a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. This new route complements United’s existing service between Los Angeles and Tokyo Haneda.

With this expansion, passengers can choose to fly from Los Angeles to both Tokyo airports, in addition to United’s existing Tokyo flights from nearby San Francisco and its other hubs.

UA32: Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita departing at 11:30 AM and arriving at 3:30 PM (+1 day)
UA33: Tokyo Narita to Los Angeles departing at 5:55 PM and arriving at 11:50 AM

San Francisco (SFO) – Taipei (TPE) Expansion

In addition to adding new routes, United Airlines will also increase its service to Taipei starting October 29th. Currently, United is the only U.S. airline providing non-stop flights from the U.S. to Taipei with its daily service from San Francisco.

However, the airline will now enhance its offerings by serving the destination twice daily. The new flights will be operated using Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.

UA853: San Francisco to Taipei departing at 12:25 AM and arriving at 5:45 AM (+1 day)
UA852: Taipei to San Francisco departing at 12:35 PM and arriving at 8:50 AM

United 777
United Airlines Boeing 777

United’s Asia-Pacific Expansion

This expansion builds on United’s previous growth in its international network, including significant expansions in the South Pacific and across the Atlantic. United aims to provide customers with more options and convenient access to these popular destinations while also utilizing its long-haul fleet, which used to be heavily deployed on its flight to mainland China (notably Beijing and Shanghai).

Prior to the pandemic, United used to operate 30 weekly flights to Shanghai and 24 weekly flights to Beijing. However, given the current restriction on US-China flights, United can no longer restore its frequency to mainland China for the time being.

As a result, United has been expanding its service to other destinations in the Asia-Pacific region, in a move to better utilize its resources and wide-body aircraft. Excluding operations to mainland China, United’s transpacific network will be 50% larger than all other U.S. airlines combined.

“We’re working closely with the U.S. government. Just like all the U.S. airlines are working with the DOT, and the DOT is working with China to figure out a way to increase capacity.”

Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances

During an interview with Sam back in October 2021, United CEO, Scott Kirby said 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.”

“Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to overfly Russia, so we cannot add the flight back between New York and Hong Kong. We just have to wait for a resolution with Russia,” added Quayle.