- United Airlines is announcing five new destinations to its international route network.
- Cities in Jordan, Norway, Spain, and Portugal will receive new non-stop flights from the US in 2022.
- New routes will also be added to destinations in Germany and Italy while three routes will be dropped.
United Airlines has announced its upcoming slate of international routes to be launched in 2022, as more borders open to Americans and travelers around the world.
Five new destinations are being added to United’s already robust long-haul network in addition to three new routes between cities already served by the airline. Capital city connections are a key focus of the expansion but United is also continuing on its summer 2020 strategy of serving some non-traditional cities for US carriers in Europe and the Middle East.
The announcement marks not only United’s largest pandemic-era expansion of long-haul flights but also its largest-ever transatlantic expansion.
“We will be flying to more destinations across the Atlantic than ever, ever in the company’s history and significantly more than the next largest US carrier,” Patrick Quayle, United’s senior vice president of international network and alliances, said on a call with reporters.
Here’s where United Airlines is flying overseas in 2022.
Five new destinations
- Amman, Jordan from Washington, DC starting on May 7 and operating three times weekly on Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.
- Ponta Delgada, Portugal from Newark starting on May 13 and operating with daily service on United’s new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.
- Bergen, Norway from Newark starting on May 20 with three times weekly service on Boeing 757-200 aircraft.
- Palma de Mallorca, Spain from Newark starting on June 2 with daily service on Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.
- Tenerife, Spain from Newark starting on June 9 with daily service on Boeing 757-200 aircraft.
Three new routes
- Munich, Germany from Denver starting April 23 and operating daily with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
- Milan, Italy from Chicago starting May 6 and operating daily with Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.
- Berlin, Germany from Washington starting on May 6 and operating daily with Boeing 767-300ER.
United is also launching previously announced routes that never launched to destinations including Bangalore, India; Nice, France; Frankfurt, Germany; Zurich, Switzerland; and Tokyo, Japan via Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. Rome, Italy and Dublin, Ireland will similarly see two additional daily flights from Newark.
“I think United’s announcement shows a bold sense of optimism for summer 2022 travel demand,” Henry Harteveldt, travel analyst and president of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider. “There are no blinding glimpses of the obvious when it comes to the route additions that they have made. These are compelling leisure destinations.”
With the exception of Japan and India, United has cautioned against expanding in the continent of Asia given the slow reopening of the region.
“Asia will take time to recover,” Quayle said, adding that there has been “good news” out of countries like Australia. “We suspect it’s going to be the last region to recover.”
United currently plans to resume its San Francisco-Singapore route in January 2022 with an eye to speed that up to December. Singapore just announced a “vaccinated travel lane” program to allow US citizens to enter that begins on October 19.
A push to be the “flag carrier of the US”
United continues to push the notion that it is the “flag carrier of the US” above rival carriers Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.
There’s no legal standard for a flag carrier in the US, as there is in other countries, but United has a strong enough transatlantic, transpacific, and Central American route network to back up that claim, Harteveldt said. South America, however, is where the airline lags in comparison to American.
“United is really building on its long-haul strengths as the US airline with the most extensive long-haul international route network,” Harteveldt said, laying down the gauntlet for rival US international carriers to compete. “It will be interesting to see what the other US airlines announce for their summer 2022 flying and whether we see the same level of optimism reflected in any of those announcements that are made.”
United’s selections also appeal to a mixture of business and leisure travelers, according to Harteveldt, that will help fill premium seats as more corporate travelers return to the skies.
Not all of United’s transatlantic routes will be returning for 2022, however, as three routes will be dropped. Those routes include Newark-Manchester, UK; Newark-Glasgow, Scotland; and San Francisco-Dublin.