United Airlines will add three new international routes from Newark, one from Chicago, and increase existing service from Denver, San Francisco, and Newark on four key routes.
Three New Destinations From Newark
United will add new service from Newark to:
- Curacao – weekly seasonal service on Saturdays beginning December 7, 2019
- Nice – daily seasonal service starting on May 2, 2020
- Palermo – daily seasonal service starting on May 20, 2020
The new Curacao route will utilize Boeing 737-700 aircraft. Beginning May 2, 2020, The Nice flight will utilize a premium-heavy Boeing 767-300ER aircraft featuring 46 Polaris Business class seats. Meanwhile, the aircraft for Palermo has not yet been determined.
Double Daily Service From Newark to Frankfurt + Amsterdam
In addition to the three new routes from Newark, United will add a second daily flight to both Frankfurt and Amsterdam. Both flights will begin on March 28, 2020. Frankfurt will become a year-around flight while the second Amsterdam flight will be seasonal. The Frankfurt flight will be operated by another premium-heavy Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. The second Amsterdam flight will utilize a Boeing 767-300ER with 30 seats in Polaris Business Class.
New Service From Chicago To Zurich
United will begin daily nonstop year-round service between Chicago O’Hare and Zurich on March 28, 2020. This route will also utilize United’s premium-heavy Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 46 Polaris Business Class Seats. Are you sensing a trend?
Denver – London + San Francisco – Delhi Become Year-Around Service
United will expand service between Denver and London to year-around, utilizing a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft. United’s new San Francisco to Delhi flight, which begins on December 5, 2019, will also become year-around.
All Seasonal Flights Return In 2020
The new routes will not come at the cost of any existing routes. Despite the 737 MAX issues, United continues to take delivery of new aircraft and expects delivery of 22 new widebodies in the next 18 months. All seasonal flights from this year (such as Naples, Porto, and Reykjavik) will return in 2020.
My Thoughts On New Routes
During a teleconference this morning discussing the new routes, Patrick Quayle, United’s Vice President of International Planning, outlined the strategy behind the premium-heavy 767-300. He credited the aircraft for making United “better able to compete and start new routes.” He added that the reduced seating capacity is “made up by the revenue potential of business class and premium economy seats.” That’s why United uses these aircraft on all flights between Newark and London and will utilize them on the new wealth-friendly Chicago to Zurich and Newark to Nice routes.
Denver has performed well for United and the year-around Heathrow flight hopefully represents a sign of more transatlantic growth to come from DEN.
More so than the new routes, I am excited about the increased service to Amsterdam and Frankfurt. I visit those two locations in Europe most often and the availability of additional flights will allow me, in Los Angeles, to leave later in the day and enjoy a lie-flat seat via Newark all the way to my final destination. Currently, I avoid connections to Frankfurt or Amsterdam in Newark because it requires me to leave Los Angeles too early. While I’ll still stick to connecting via San Francisco when possible, it is nice to have these extra options. Same with Chicago – Zurich, where my wife’s family lives.
Quayle was asked if new routes would be added to Houston, Washington, and Los Angeles too. Rather than say no, he only said “not today.” With 22 new widebodies coming, I expect additional announcements in the weeks and months ahead.
How did I do in my predictions? Well, at least I predicted Denver – London correctly. All new routes are exciting, but I am looking forward to more Polaris seats on more routes I fly often already.
What are your thoughts on the new United route additions?