United Airlines plans big transatlantic expansion

United said it has planned the airline’s largest transatlantic expansion in history for next spring, including five new destinations that aren’t served by other U.S. carriers and three additional new routes.

The carrier will also begin six previously announced international routes that it delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Given our big expectations for a rebound in travel to Europe for summer, this is the right time to leverage our leading global network in new, exciting ways,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s senior vice president of international networks and alliances. 

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United’s new international destinations include Amman, Jordan; Bergen, Norway; Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca; Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands; and Ponta Delgado in Portugal’s Azores archipelago. 

The carrier will fly between Washington Dulles and Amman three times per week beginning May 5, competing with Royal Jordanian Airlines, according to Cirium flight-schedule data. United will serve the other four new destinations from Newark. 

Daily service to Ponta Delgado will begin May 13. Thrice-weekly service to Bergen, Palma and Tenerife will begin May 20, June 2 and June 9, respectively. 

None of those routes from Newark have scheduled competitors, according to Cirium. And only Ponta Delgado among those four destinations has any U.S. service, with Azores Airlines serving it from Boston. 

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Along with the new transatlantic destinations, United will add new Europe routes from Denver, Chicago O’Hare and Washington Dulles. The carrier said it will begin flying Denver-Munich, Chicago O’Hare-Milan and Washington Dulles-Berlin in the spring. 

Routes that have been postponed by the pandemic include San Francisco-Bangalore, India; Newark-Nice, France; Chicago-Zurich, Switzerland; and Washington, Newark and Los Angeles to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. 

United will begin the three Haneda routes on March 26. Chicago-Zurich launches April 23. Newark-Nice is scheduled to begin April 29. And the launch date for San Francisco-Bangalore is May 26. 

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