United Airlines Boeing 777ER. Plane to Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport.
Massimo Insabato Mondadori Wallet | Getty Images
United Airlines is planning another big increase in times for transatlantic travel, in a bet that consumers will continue to shell out for international travel, some of which was already years in advance.
Next summer, United says it will fly to 37 cities in Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East, a total it said is more than all other U.S. airlines combined. It will also bring back destinations, including a nonstop flight from its hub at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and Stockholm in a Boeing 757 on May 27. He last served that city in 2019.
Airline executives recently reported a strong summer for European travel in particular. United said demand was up 20% over 2019 during the summer peak. Ticket sales have been solid through the fall, prompting some airlines to maintain more off-peak flights to generate that revenue.
Despite strong demand and revenue from high fares, airlines have been hit by a number of challenges this summer, including delays and shortages of aircraft, and staff shortage chaos at major European hubs such as London and Amsterdam, which led the companies to reduce their capacity.
“This is a schedule we believe we can operate on,” Patrick Quayle, United’s senior vice president of global network alliances and planning, told reporters. He said the company is working closely with airports and other industry members to ensure it does not go overboard.
Quayle estimated that United’s transatlantic schedule during the peak summer period next year will be 30% larger than in 2019 and 10% larger than in 2022.
Inflation, a slower recovery in business travel and other issues still loom over demand for 2023. London’s Heathrow Airport warned on Tuesday that demand for travel is “uncertain”.
When demand was weaker in the Covid pandemic, United experimented with its route map, offering destinations such as Palma de Mallorca in Spain and Ponta Delgada in Portugal’s Azores. Those flights are returning although service to Bergen, Norway, didn’t make the cut for 2023.
United said Wednesday it will begin flights May 25 between San Francisco and Rome on a 777-200ER, part of the company’s major investment in service to Italy. On the same day, seasonal service to Shannon, Ireland from Chicago O’Hare International Airport on a Boeing 757 and daily flights to Barcelona, Spain from Chicago on a 787 Dreamliner will begin.
It will also offer flights from Washington Dulles International Airport to Berlin on a Boeing 767, starting May 25. The company plans to fly 23 daily flights to London Heathrow next summer.
On March 25, United will begin service between Newark and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on a Boeing 777-200ER, flights it announced last month under a new partnership with Emirates.
Delta Air Lines It is also increasing service to Europe for next spring and summer, increasing its transatlantic capacity by 8% from 2022.
Its additions include non-stop service to Geneva, more service to London and the resumption of daily flights from Berlin, all from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.