Citing weak demand, United Airlines will suspend two long-standing international routes to Hong Kong and Buenos Aires.
This autumn, United will suspend its Chicago to Hong Kong flight, its Newark to Buenos Aires flight, and accelerate the suspension of its Guam to Hong Kong flight.
United Suspends Chicago – Hong Kong Effective September 9, 2019
Without indirectly blaming the civil unrest in Hong Kong, United cites “decline in demand” as the reason for slashing its long-running Chicago to Hong Kong flight:
We look forward to our upcoming addition of a second daily flight between HKG (Hong Kong) and SFO this fall to complement our existing HKG service. However, we have also seen a decline in demand between ORD and HKG. While our service between the United States and HKG remains a vital part of our network, we have decided to suspend service between ORD and HKG after the return flight from HKG on Sept. 9, 2019.
Despite reduced demand to Hong Kong, United still plans to operate twice daily service to HKG from San Francisco and will maintain service from Newark.
United Suspends Newark – Buenos Aires Effective October 26, 2019
United will suspend service between Newark and Buenos Aires after the flight arrives back into Newark on October 26th. The daily flight from Houston to Buenos Aires will continue. Argentina is in the midst of a difficult recession, placing reduced demand on travel to the Argentine capital.
United Suspends Guam – Hong Kong Effective October 14, 2019
When United announced it was doubling daily service between San Francisco and Hong Kong, it announced an elimination of its Guam to Hong service on October 27, 2019. United is moving up the final date of that flight to October 14, 2019.
> Read More: In Hong Kong, United Giveth And Taketh Away
Expect the new schedules to be loaded this weekend. If your itinerary is affected by these changes, United will be reaching out to you with rebooking options.
The aircraft from these routes will not be used for any of the international expansion announced earlier this week. Instead, these aircraft will be utilized for domestic service, helping to fill in the gaps left by ongoing 737 MAX issues.
One can hardly blame United for cancelling service when both governments and companies around the world are issuing travel warnings to Hong Kong. Despite the suspension, United will offer more service to Hong Kong than any other U.S. carrier. Still, United stressed to me this was a suspension and not elimination.
We will continue to monitor and review market demand for both and adjust as necessary.
For the sake of Hong Kong and Argentina, I do hope these turn out to be suspensions and not eventual eliminations.
Will you miss flights between Hong Kong and Chicago or Newark and Buenos Aires?