United Airlines plans to grow at Newark Liberty International Airport, with more flights, more clubs, and more premium seats.
United Airlines Eyes Growth At Newark Airport
This autumn, United expects to resume its full pre-pandemic schedule of flights out of Newark. In November 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) slot waiver period ends, meaning United must “use or lose” its slots.
Newark is already United’s largest global gateway with 430 daily flights that include international destinations like Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Mumbai, and Tel Aviv. But United does not just want Newark to be a global gateway, but wants to dominate at Newark, hoping it can drive more carriers to reduce schedules or even potentially out as it did to Southwest Airlines.
> Read More: Southwest Hands United Airlines A Free Gift
United expects the number of Newark departures on mainline aircraft to increase from 55% in 2019 to 70% by 2026.
By late 2021, United expects 100% of Newark departures to be on dual-class aircraft, including the 737 MAX and the dual-class 50-seat CRJ-550 jet.
Discussing today’s new order for 270 jets, United said:
Today’s aircraft order means the airline can create quality, union jobs, as well as grow domestic and international capacity from Newark for years to come by replacing smaller mainline jets with larger aircraft, while at the same time driving international growth, by connecting more customers from U.S. cities to Newark/NYC for their international flights.
Specifically, United plans to create up to 5,000 new union jobs based in Newark by 2026.
United is in the midst of a long-term upgrade project at Newark. The work includes renovating an existing United Club location in Terminal C and building a brand new United Club in Terminal A where United will operate from 12 new gates. But the centerpiece of the work will be a new lounge in Terminal C that will accommodate 500 travelers and offer panoramic views of Manhattan.
While United has not announced a completion date for that project, work is underway and desperately needed as travel demand surges and United’s single lounge in Terminal C is simply not able to accommodate the influx of passengers.
By the end of 2021, United Airlines will stop operating single-cabin aircraft from Newark, adding more mainline flights and regional flights using two-cabin aircraft like the CRJ-550.
Over time, United intends to add capacity through more mainline flying and create a new club that will finally eliminate crowding issues that have plagued EWR even before the Continental – United merger.
What do you make of United’s growth plans at Newark Airport?