United Airlines on Monday announced a number of new routes to Croatia, Iceland and Greece.
Croatia, Iceland and Greece are the three counties that either are or have stated they will open up for international travel.
The 3 new destinations – Dubrovnik, Croatia; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Athens, Greece – all build on United’s pandemic-era strategy of boosting flights to leisure spots with plenty of outdoor-friendly activities. However, this time, the airline is focusing on transatlantic services, rather than domestic or short-haul international destinations.
United will become the only airline to offer nonstop service to Croatia from the United States. Starting 8th July through to 3rd October, the carrier will fly to Dubrovnik Airport 3-times-a-week from Newark Liberty International Airport.
The carrier will deploy a 214-seater Boeing B767-300ER outfitted with 30 Polaris business pods, 49 extra-legroom Economy Plus and 135 coach seats.
Flight schedule of Newark-Dubrovnik-Newark route:
- Departure time: 19:20
- Arrival time: 10:15 (the next day)
- Flight time: 8 hours and 55 minutes
- Flight number: UA385
- Frequency: Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays
- Departure time: 12:15
- Arrival time: 16:25
- Flight time: 10 hours and 10 minutes
- Flight number: UA386
- Frequency: Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays
Dubrovnik used to receive service from American Airlines in the summer of 2019. In the July of 2020 at the height of the pandemic, American Airlines announced that it would permanently suspend the service to Dubrovnik.
United will offer the first ever daily flights between Washington and Athens. This service will start on 1st July and will run through 3rd October.
The carrier’s planning to use one of its latest Boeing B787-8 Dreamliners for the flight to Athens, equipped with 28 Polaris Business pods, 21 Premium Plus recliners, 36 Economy Plus seats and 158 standard coach seats.
Flight schedule of Washington-Athens-Washington route:
- Departure time: 17:35
- Arrival time: 10:20 (the next day)
- Flight time: 9 hours and 45 minutes
- Flight number: UA982
- Frequency: Daily
- Departure time: 12:05
- Arrival time: 16:05 (the next day)
- Flight time: 11 hours
- Flight number: UA983
- Frequency: Daily
This brand-new service will complement’s United’s existing daily seasonal Summer service from Newark, which resumes on 3rd June and runs through 29th October, operated by a 214-seat Boeing B767-300.
United will face some fierce competition on its flights to Athens. American Airlines plans to connect the Greek capital with Chicago, New York-JFK and Philadelphia. Delta airlines is planning twice-daily services from New York-JFK and Emirates is planning a daily service between Newark and Athens from 2nd June.
United is adding flights to Iceland. The airline will fly from its hub at Chicago’s O’hare International Airport to Reykjavik’s Keflavík International Airport. United will operate these flights by the Boeing B757-200, outfitted with 16 lie-flat business-class pods arranged in a 2-2 configuration, as well as coach seats in a standard 3-3 pattern.
This route will complement United’s existing Newark service which will resume on 3rd June and will run through 29th October. Delta airlines recently announced 3 new routes to Iceland’s capital from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Boston and New York-JFK in time for the busy summer season.
Presently, IcelandAir is the only airline flying between the US and Iceland connecting Boston and Reykjavik.
Iceland opened for tourism on 18th March 2021, but you can enter only if you’re fully vaccinated or can present proof of a previous COVID-19 infection via a positive antibody test.
You still need to test when returning to the US
As of 26th January 2021, all passengers two years of age and older traveling to the U.S. from a foreign country must show a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.
United’s Travel-Ready Center enables customers to upload testing and vaccine documentation for verification ahead of check-in, so passengers can get their boarding passes sooner and streamline their experience at the airport. This can be done through the mobile app.
United’s Europe Expansion
Patrick Quayle, Vice President of International Network and Alliances, United Airlines, stated the following on the new routes:
As countries around the world begin the process of reopening, leisure travelers are eager to take a long-awaited getaway to new international destinations. These three new routes unlock the natural beauty of the outdoors for our guests. They are also the latest example of how United is remaining nimble in rebuilding our network.
The new routes are in response to customer demand. Searches on the airline’s websites for flights to Croatia, Greece, and Iceland are up 61%, according to United.
Additional new flights
Along with these new routes, United is adding three new markets in Africa, with three times weekly service to Accra, Ghana from Washington Dulles beginning 14th May, three times weekly service to Lagos, Nigeria from Washington Dulles set to begin later this year and daily service to Johannesburg, South Africa from Newark beginning 3rd June.
On 27th May, United launch its highly anticipated new flights from San Francisco to Bengaluru. Israel is getting a boost as Chicago service thrice a week to Tel Aviv will resume on 7th May and San Francisco to Tel Aviv moves to daily from 3rd June. United will fly 24 weekly frequencies to Tel Aviv this summer.
In May, United will resume service from Newark to Rome and Milan, and from Chicago to Munich, Amsterdam, and Tokyo Haneda. In June, the Chicago-based carrier will resume flights between San Francisco and Tahiti.
Featured image by WikiData
What do you think of United’s new routes to Croatia, Iceland and Greece? What are your thoughts on United’s International expansion? Let me know in the comments section below.