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United announces 26 new point-to-point routes; resumes international routes

United Airlines yesterday announced 26 new point-to-point routes as the airline looks to capture the booming domestic and international leisure market.

Domestic routes

The 26 new point-to-point routes are the most notable of the announcement serving as the latest example of an airline bypassing their hubs to try and earn customers by offering more convenient direct flights – even on marginal or seasonal routes.

The airline said that these new routes will begin on 27th May and will run through the Labor Day weekend. Most of the new point-to-point routes will be operated by United’s comfortable CRJ-550, a low-density aircraft that, before the pandemic, was envisioned for high-demand domestic business routes.

The United States-based carrier also plans to add flights on three new routes: Houston-Kalispell, Washington-Bozeman and Chicago-Nantucket.

All three of those routes connect United hubs to the types of outdoor populations that have proven popular with travelers during the pandemic. Kalispell is near Glacier National Park while Bozeman is near Yellowstone National Park. Nantucket is a popular beach destination located off the coast of Cape Cod.

Photo: United States

New routes from Cleveland:

  • Charleston: 3-times-a-week
  • Myrtle Beach: 3-times-a-week
  • Hilton Head: 3-times-a-week
  • Portland: 3-times-a-week
  • Pensacola: 3-times-a-week

New routes from Cincinnati:

  • Charleston: 3-times-a-week
  • Hilton Head: 3-times-a-week
  • Portland: 3-times-a-week
  • Pensacola: 3-times-a-week

New routes from Columbus:

  • Charleston: 4-times-a-week
  • Hilton Head: 3-times-a-week
  • Portland: 4-times-a-week

New routes from Indianapolis:

  • Charleston: 3-times-a-week
  • Hilton Head: 4-times-a-week
  • Portland: 3-times-a-week

New routes from Milwaukee:

  • Charleston: 2-times-a-week
  • Myrtle Beach: 2-times-a-week
  • Savannah: 2-times-a-week
  • Portland: 2-times-a-week
  • Pensacola: 2-times-a-week

New routes from St. Louis:

  • Hilton Head: 3-times-a-week
  • Myrtle Beach: 3-times-a-week

New routes from Pittsburgh:

  • Charleston: 3-times-a-week
  • Hilton Head: 3-times-a-week
  • Portland: 3-times-a-week
  • Pensacola: 3-times-a-week

New and improved Hawaii service

Hawaii routes are getting improved service from United. The airline said that it will be bringing Premium Plus service on some Hawaii routes. Because these seats are only available on planes that have been retrofitted to United’s new cabin, it means that business class travelers can look forward to the new Polaris seats.

Hawaii routes getting Premium Plus premium economy cabins for the summer schedule include:

  • Chicago-Honolulu: Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner starting 6th May
  • Chicago-Maui: Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner starting 6th May
  • Denver-Maui: Boeing B777-200ER starting 6th May
  • Denver-Honolulu: Boeing B777-200ER starting 6th May
  • Newark-Maui: The “high J” Boeing 767-300 starting 3rd June
  • Chicago-Kona: Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner starting 3rd June
  • Houston-Honolulu: Boeing 777-200ER starting 3rd June

Resuming international routes

The carrier will also increase service to destinations through Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America, and South America. Much of this service was revealed in a schedule update earlier this month, but the ramp-up to on the routes means that United will actually have more service to these regions than it did in 2019. That’s a significant development for the carrier given the fact that most long-haul international travel remains largely curtailed. United is also claiming that it is serving this region than any other US carrier.

It is also resuming flights on routes such as:

  • Chicago-Amsterdam
  • Chicago-Munich
  • Chicago-Tel Aviv
  • Chicago-Tokyo Haneda
  • Newark-Rome
  • Newark-Milan

and increasing services on routes such as:

  • Los Angeles-Sydney
  • Los Angeles-Tokyo Narita

That leaves the airline operating 46% of its international schedule compared to May, 2019.

Catching up with its rivals

In the last month or so, IH Aviation and Travel has consistently been reporting about every airline in the United States announcing new destinations and routes and it looks like United is catching up with its rivals.

Alaska Airlines has announced 4 new routes out of Pacific Northwest for Summer 2021, Spirit Airlines has added 2 new destinations, Southwest has added flights to Montana and Florida and American Airlines has added a whopping 10 new routes from Austin. And finally, Delta has announced 39 new and expanded routes to over 20 destinations.

Featured image by United Airlines

What do you think of United’s Summer expansion? Let me know in the comments section below.

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