United Airlines Expands Asia Flights to Capitalize on Long-Haul Travel Boom
United Airlines announced plans for further expansion of its Asia flights in response to the increasing demand for long-haul international travel. This surge in bookings comes as travelers look to embark on long-distance trips that were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and various travel restrictions. United Airlines aims to take advantage of this trend to boost profitability.
Patrick Quayle, United’s senior vice president of global network planning and alliances, stated that the Pacific market is currently as strong, if not stronger, than the Atlantic. In April, the airline already announced new flights to New Zealand and Australia.
United’s Future Flights
Starting October 29, United Airlines will offer daily nonstop flights between San Francisco and Manila, becoming the sole U.S. airline to provide this service from the continental U.S. The route will be operated using United’s largest aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER.
In addition, United Airlines will introduce a second nonstop flight between San Francisco and Taipei, Taiwan, also commencing on October 29. The airline also plans to resume service to Tokyo’s Narita Airport from Los Angeles, along with flights between Los Angeles and Haneda International Airport.
Quayle highlighted the high demand for Tokyo flights since Japan lifted travel restrictions earlier this year.
Challenges with China Service
However, United Airlines faces challenges in expanding its growth in China due to Russian airspace restrictions. Consequently, the airline will not resume routes such as Newark Liberty International Airport to Hong Kong. Nevertheless, United will continue to offer Los Angeles-to-Hong Kong flights, increasing its daily nonstop service to Hong Kong to three flights per day, including flights from San Francisco.
Quayle mentioned ongoing communication between United Airlines, other airlines, and the U.S. government regarding negotiations with Chinese counterparts to reinstate services. According to aviation data firm Cirium, there have been significantly fewer flights between the U.S. and China this year compared to 2019.
United Airlines expects its trans-Pacific flying to remain relatively stable compared to 2019, excluding China service, which is projected to increase by approximately 40% during the upcoming winter season.
International Flights at Newark
United Airlines is considering schedule cuts at its Newark hub due to challenges posed by bad summer weather, congestion, and a shortage of air traffic controllers in the area. However, the airline assures passengers that these potential changes will not affect its international service.
Quayle emphasized the goal of maintaining a reliable and consistent global operation from Newark, even though adjustments may be made. United Airlines will announce further details during its quarterly earnings conference call on Thursday morning.