United Unraveled: Inside The Airline’s Largest Hub

Denver is now United Airlines’ largest hub, with over 6,300 weekly flights and 170 routes in mid-June. 45 states are served non-stop, with 13 now exceeding pre-pandemic levels. However, 27 are down, led by California, far outweighing the gains made by others.

United Unraveled: Inside The Airline’s Largest Hub
Denver has become United Airlines’ number-one hub by total flights. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

United Airlines has 6,308 flights and 170 routes scheduled from Denver in the week beginning June 14th, analyzing OAG data reveals. Flights are down by a reasonable 8% over the same week in 2019, while the number of routes has increased from 163.

Denver is United’s largest hub by flights this week, ahead of Houston Intercontinental (5,951), Chicago O’Hare (5,676), Newark (3,026), and Washington Dulles (2,476). The Colorado airport was ‘only’ third-largest in 2019, with its jump mainly from the others declining to a much greater extent than it has, down as they are by between 16% to 48%.

United Unraveled: Inside The Airline’s Largest Hub
Regional jets operate some 89 of United’s 170 routes from Denver, with an average of 518 miles. Photo: Getty Images

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170 routes from Denver

United has 170 routes from Denver this week. 163 are once-daily or more, with 107 having 14+ weekly services. Long-haul international sees just Frankfurt served, with London Heathrow and Tokyo Narita due to resume on July 1st.

Hub-to-hub flights are key for United from Denver, with Houston and Chicago taking the top-two spots. Aspen is now third, while Salt Lake City has risen the ranks from 12th to joint-fourth. SLC is Delta’s only growing hub.

The seven sub-daily routes are all international, except Burlington, Vermont, and North Bend, Oregon. Burlington launched in June 2019 and will be twice-weekly using the A320, while North Bend began in 2015 and will run twice-weekly using Embraer 175s.

United Unraveled: Inside The Airline’s Largest Hub
United’s routes with 35+ weekly flights in the week beginning June 14th, 2021. Image: GCMap

45 states are served non-stop

United serves some 45 US states from Denver, the same as two years ago. 13 now have more flights than they did, as follows, with 495 extra weekly flights between them. Meanwhile, five states have the same number as they did before.

  1. Florida: +92 two-way weekly flights, up by 57.5%
  2. Wyoming: +82, +31.3%
  3. Montana: +65, 21.8%
  4. Utah: +57, +40.4%
  5. Arizona: +44, +28.9%
  6. Missouri: +43, +43.4%
  7. Idaho: +31%, +25.2%
  8. Hawaii: +28, +50.0%
  9. Iowa: +14, +12.7%
  10. South Carolina: +14; +50%
  11. Michigan: +11, +18.1%
  12. Maine: +10, +250%
  13. Nevada: +4, +3.2%

Maine is interesting. United began Portland in June 2019 on a twice-weekly basis using A320s. It operated for 11 weeks. It’ll restart on June 3rd – this time once-daily, also by the A320.

United Unraveled: Inside The Airline’s Largest Hub
In the analyzed week, widebodies will be used on just 2% of United’s Denver flights. The B787-9, as shown here, will only be used to Frankfurt. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Florida has grown the most

Florida has grown by the greatest number of flights, up as it is by 92 a week. United now serves 10 airports in the state, up from seven, with Miami, Sarasota, and Panama City now served.

It has also grown multiple routes. For example, Destin Fort Walton Beach, Pensacola, and Fort Myers are all seven-weekly, up from once- or twice-weekly. Fort Myers is the US’ fastest-growing airport, Simple Flying shows.

Despite 13 states growing, 27 have declined, with some 996 fewer flights – far outweighing the gains made by others. California (-237), New York (-93), and Texas (-56) are the worst-hit.

Will you be traveling through Denver with United this summer? Comment below!