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United Airlines probably has the strongest international route network out of all the US carriers and that network was due to get even stronger with the reinstatement of a transpacific route that fell by the wayside when the Covid pandemic hit and two other transpacific routes that were suspended last year. With the latest schedule changes, however, that all changed.
Newark – Hong Kong
United Airlines suspended its Newark – Hong Kong route back in February 2020 (it was one of the airline’s first route casualties of the pandemic) and it was finally scheduled to return for the 2023/24 northern hemisphere Winter season.
United planned to restart the Newark – Hong Kong route from 27 October with a daily 777 service operating year-round, but following this weekend’s schedule updates, the route is now no longer set to return before 31 March 2024.
Also, it should be noted that as United’s summer 2024 schedule is far from fixed at this point, there is no guarantee that the airline will actually restart this route on 31 March 2024 as United.com currently shows. That restart date could easily be pushed back again (despite the fact that United has opened up bookings in select fare classes for travel on this route from that date).
United’s India flights
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, a lot of the world’s major airlines stopped flying through Russian airspace and, as a result, the extra distances that would now have to be flown to reach certain destinations, made some routes inoperable or uneconomical.
United’s Newark to Mumbai route and its San Francisco to Delhi route were both casualties of the fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but the indications had been that the airline planned to bring both routes back for winter 2023/24.
That, however, is no longer the case as both routes are now absent from United’s winter schedule.
United continues to operate the Newark – Delhi flight on a daily basis, but it hasn’t addressed the question of why the returns of the Newark – Mumbai and San Francisco – Delhi routes have been pushed back. All the airline has been prepared to say that “[w]e can confirm we have extended the suspension of these routes through March 28, 2024.” [HT: SimpleFlying]
United Airlines will no longer be bringing back its flights from Newark to Mumbai and Hong Kong or its flights between San Francisco and Delhi for this upcoming winter season. The airline hasn’t given any reasons as to why the routes are not yet ready to be restarted, but it has confirmed that none of them will be returning before the end of march next year.