United Airlines Announces Significant Route Resumptions & Expansions

the tail of an airplane

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United Airlines has just announced that it will be resuming service on “nearly 30 international routes” across Asia, Europe, and South America as well as offering customers expanded services to destinations in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Central America, and Mexico.

United’s Route Plans For November 2020

International Plans

United has confirmed that November 2020 will only see it operating 38% of the international schedule that it operated in November and, although that;’s up from the 32% we saw in October, that gives a very good indication of just how bad things still are.

Overall, November will see United restarting 29 routes to destinations in Asia, Europe, and Latin America which, according to the airline, will include the following:

  • Resuming service between Denver and Frankfurt (3x/week)
  • Resuming nonstop service between San Francisco and Taipei (3x/week)
  • Restarting service between Houston and Santiago, Chile (3x/week)
  • Restarting service between Houston and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (3x/week)
  • Resuming service to seven Caribbean and Central American destinations, including:
    • Antigua
    • Curacao
    • Grand Cayman
    • Managua
    • Nassau
    • St. Lucia
    • Roatan

There’s international route expansion on the way too. November will see United increasing the following international services…

  • Houston – Frankfurt goes to 5x/week
  • San Francisco – Seoul goes to 5x/week

…and expanding service on over 20 routes to beach destinations throughout Mexico, including:

  • New service to Acapulco
  • New service to Zihuatanejo
  • Expanded service to Cancun
  • Expanded service to Cozumel
  • Expanded service to Cabo San Lucas
  • Expanded service to Puerto Vallarta

In addition to the improved international schedule in November, tomorrow (3 October) will see United opening up reservations on 3 of the new non-stop flights it announced at the beginning of September. The schedules will be as follows:

a table with time zones

Domestic Plans

United’s plans aren’t just limited to getting international routes back up and running. The airline has confirmed that it intends to fly 49% of last November’s domestic schedule next month as well as offering a new service to Florida.

November will see United resuming the following 2 services…

  • San Francisco – Tampa
  • Denver – Miami

…as well as increasing service between Los Angeles and Maui (a daily service will be offered) and starting up a service between Washington D.C. (IAD) and Key West.

On top of all this, United says that it plans to offer up to 16 daily, nonstop flights connecting customers in Boston, Cleveland, and New York/LaGuardia to popular Florida destinations including Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, and Tampa as well as adding up to 14 daily flights on 12 routes to Boise, Palm Springs, and Bend.

Bottom Line

The fact that United only plans to offer 38% of last November’s international schedule is unsurprising because we still have large areas of the world where visitors aren’t welcome and where local restrictions mean that trips shorter than 10 – 14 days in length are pointless – travelers are either unable to travel to their chosen destinations or they don’t want to travel so putting on flights is pointless.

Domestically is where things look worse…at least to me.

While it’s great to see United getting more and more services back up and running and looking to add more leisure routes to compensate for the loss of business travelers, the fact that the airline is still only seeing enough demand to offer 49% of last November’s domestic schedule tells us that this crisis is far from over.

Every time I read about airlines increasing services I desperately want to believe that we’re starting to see the chinks of light that indicate the end of the Covid tunnel. Sadly, I suspect that the tunnel is going to be a lot longer than most of us envisaged.