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United adds recent trans-Atlantic flights for summer 2023 in bet on travel recovery

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Boeing 777ER United Airlines. Aircraft to Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport.

Massimo Insabato | Mondadori Portfolio | Getty Images

United Airlines is planning one other big schedule increase for trans-Atlantic travel, in a bet that customers will proceed to shell out for international trips, a few of which that they had postpone for years.

Next summer, United says it can fly to 37 cities in Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East, a complete it said is greater than other U.S. airlines combined. It would also bring back destinations including a nonstop flight from its Newark Liberty International Airport hub in Recent Jersey and Stockholm on a Boeing 757 on May 27. It last served that city in 2019.

Airline executives have recently reported a powerful summer for European travel specifically. United said demand was up 20% from 2019 throughout the summer peak. Ticket sales have been robust into the autumn, prompting some carriers to take care of more off-peak flights to chase that revenue.

Despite strong demand and revenue from high fares, airlines were hamstrung by a series of challenges this summer akin to aircraft delivery delays and shortages, and chaos from staffing shortages at major European hubs like those in London and Amsterdam, which prompted airlines to curb capability.

“It is a schedule we imagine we will operate,” Patrick Quayle, United’s senior vice chairman of world network planning and alliances, told reporters. He said the carrier is working closely with airports and other industry members to make sure it is not overshooting.

Quayle estimated United’s trans-Atlantic schedule throughout the peak summer period next yr might be 30% larger than in 2019 and about 10% larger than in 2022.

Inflation, a slower rebound in business travel and other issues still loom over demand for 2023. London’s Heathrow Airport warned Tuesday that travel demand is “uncertain.”

When demand was weaker within the Covid pandemic, United experimented with its route map, offering destinations akin to Palma de Mallorca in Spain and Ponta Delgada in Portugal’s Azores. Those flights are returning though service to Bergen, Norway, didn’t make the cut for 2023.

United said Wednesday it can start flights on May 25 between San Francisco and Rome on a 777-200ER, a part of the carrier’s big investment in service to Italy. On the identical day, it can start seasonal service to Shannon, Ireland, from Chicago O’Hare International Airport on a Boeing 757 and every day flights to Barcelona, Spain, from Chicago on a 787 Dreamliner.

It would also offer flights from Washington Dulles International Airport to Berlin on a Boeing 767, starting May 25. The carrier plans to fly 23 every day flights to London Heathrow next summer.

On March 25, United will start service between Newark and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on a Boeing 777-200ER, flights it announced last month under a recent partnership with Emirates.

Delta Air Lines can also be ramping up service to Europe for next spring and summer, growing its trans-Atlantic capability by 8% from 2022.

Its additions include a nonstop to Geneva, more London service and a resumption of every day Berlin flights, all from Recent York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

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