United Airlines In 2020 – What New Routes Could Be Launched?

It has been a busy year of expansions for United Airlines. Domestic and international growth has been seen in both familiar and new markets. On the back of a strong year, we take a look at what new routes could be in store for the airline over the course of 2020.

United Boeing 777
United will be looking to continue its expansions following an eventful 2019. Photo: United

New markets

United has been quick to capitalize on emerging markets this year, especially by identifying small to medium enterprise growth in previously underserved regions.

Most recently, it launched its Newark to Cape Town seasonal service. This made the operator the only United States-based firm to offer direct flights to the South African legislative capital.

South Africa holds one of the many emerging economies that are continuing to grow heading into the 2020s. Therefore, United could be looking to introduce even more flights to the country.

However, across the Atlantic, there is also massive potential for growth. Several countries within Latin America have also been enjoying developing middle economies. There could also be special attention paid by United due to Delta’s increased presence in the region.

United at Denver
United could be further incentivized to expand in Latin America following Delta’s 20 percent stake in LATAM.  Photo: United

Latin American potential

According to Trefis, United already saw developments within the region over the last year. The carrier saw a Latin American growth of 8.9 percent in the third quarter of 2019.

This result has been backed by two factors. Firstly, the average fares in the region have been growing at a faster rate than United’s domestic ones. Secondly, the load factor across the area has also been growing at a higher rate.

By looking at its previous trends, the airline could be looking to capitalize on this growth in 2020. Bloomberg reports that passenger potential in Latin America is so high that nearly 3000 more jets will be needed over the next two decades to fulfill the demand.

Brazil is at the forefront of South America’s economic growth but United already serves its key economic hubs such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. However, as well as increasing the amount of departing airports to these cities, it could be looking at other Brazilian destinations to serve. Perhaps a direct route to Brasilia, the capital of the country would be a useful revenue stream.

United 777
United already has a reasonable presence in Latin America. Photo: United

Across the Amazon

Colombia is also seeing an increase in demand recently. United currently serves Bogotá, the country’s capital, but there are several other cities that are popular for tourists and businesses. Medellin, Cali, and Barranquilla are all destinations that have the potential to be served from airports such as Miami and San Fransisco.

Meanwhile, United could be considering adding more South American countries to its network. Bolivia is currently underserved by US carriers with American Airlines pulling out of the country this year. Therefore, its rival could capitalize on the gap left and offer routes to the landlocked nation.

United Airlines Aircraft At Airport
The diverse regions across Latin America offer an abundance of potential growth. Photo: United

Global opportunity

Nonetheless, it’s not only South American markets that have the potential to grow. Earlier this month, United inaugurated its San Francisco to Delhi service.

With India predicted to surge as a global powerhouse within the next decade, the airline could be looking to add more South Asian destinations to its network. It wouldn’t be a surprise to more route options to economical and technological hubs such as Kolkatta, and Bengaluru.

Following its reformed approach to its United Kingdom routes, United will be looking to take it up a notch across Europe. It has confirmed that it will fly its Boeing 767-300ER to the French coastal city of Nice from May 2nd. It will also fly Newark to the Sicilian city of Palermo from May 20th.

Altogether, United shows no sign of stopping its mission to serve new markets and expanding on its network. 2020 is looking to be another strong year for the airline.

Which new routes do you think United will announce in 2020? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comment section.