United Backtracks And Reinstates Some Long-Haul Services

After previously announcing a cut in all long-haul international services, United Airlines has now backtracked. After some deliberation, United put out a March 21 press release saying that it is now reinstating some long-haul international services.

United 787-9 Dreamliner
United will reinstate some long-haul international flights. Photo: Getty Images

Which flights is United reinstating?

While United is not returning to its full and extensive long-haul international schedule, several flights will return. Through May, United has announced that it will reinstate the following flights:

  • Frankfurt to Newark (UA960/961)
  • London to Newark (UA16/17)
  • Tel Aviv to Newark (UA90/91)
  • Sao Paulo to Houston (UA62/63)
  • Narita to San Francisco (UA837/838)
  • Sydney to San Francisco (UA863/870)

In addition, for westbound to the US, United is reinstating the following routes out of Newark through March 28th:

  • Amsterdam (UA70/71)
  • Munich (UA30/31)
  • Brussels (UA999/998)
  • London (UA918/919)
  • Sao Paulo (UA149/148)
  • Cape Town (UA1122/1123)

Furthermore, UA58/59 between San Francisco and Frankfurt will also continue through March 27th departing the United States. Through March 28th outbound, United will fly UA115/114 from San Francisco to Tahiti. And, through March 29th outbound, UA893/892 service from San Francisco to Seoul will operate

United reinstates services
United is reinstating several long-haul services. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper

The carrier is reinstating these services in an effort to bring people home. Nevertheless, some countries have barred international flights making it difficult for United to resume those flights.

Still, about 90% of United’s international schedule has been cancelled amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

United 787-9
These resumptions are intended to try and get passengers home. Photo: Simple Flying

United continues to struggle amid pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is largely uncharted territory for airlines. After years of extensive growth– including impressive long-haul expansions– United now has to suspend a majority of those services. Governments are urging people to stay home and avoid nonessential travel. Meanwhile, some countries and entities are shutting their borders in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

Controlling the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak is limiting the number of places United can fly. Photo: Getty Images

Now, United has joined the growing chorus of airlines seeking government assistance. The airline claims that government aid will help the carrier delay layoffs and furloughs of employees.


The situation continues to worsen. However, there is some silver lining to this as United has reinstated some long-haul services. As a result, some previously affected passengers will now have the opportunity to return home on a United flight. Although not a repatriation flight in full, these reinstatements do offer some citizens a chance to return to their homes.

While some passengers may continue to need re-routing through United’s partners, a connection is a small price to pay to avoid becoming stranded in some corner of the world.

Given the fluid nature of the situation, United will continue to adjust its long-haul and domestic schedules. Low demand and further governmental restrictions may require United to suspend some of these routes in the future, on short notice.

Will you fly on any of these United reinstatements? Let us know in the comments!