Seville is rumoured to be getting its first direct service to the United States next fall. ABC desevilla are reporting that United Airlines is soon going to announce seasonal flights between Seville and Newark Airport. The flights would commence in May 2020.
If correct, it’s another in a steady stream of new flights announced by United recently.
Simple Flying asked United Airlines for comment. It’s spokesperson, Gudrun Gorner, said,
“We (United) are continually evaluating the potential for new routes. We have no new announcements at present”.
What is Seville saying?
Despite United’s reticence, senior figures in Seville’s local government seem confident the airline will be touching down at Seville’s International Airport in 2020.
Seville’s Mayor, Juan Espadas, had a meeting with United executives recently when Seville hosted the World Tourism and Travel Council in April this year. Later, Seville’s tourism and cultural delegate, Antonio Muñoz, said the deal between the city and United was almost done.
It’s good news for Seville, Spain’s fourth largest city that is frequently overshadowed by its glamorous bigger siblings, Barcelona and Madrid. Seville hosted nearly 200,000 US tourists last year and this is expected to be boosted by direct flights from the USA.
More choice for Seville’s local residents
Delta presently flies into Malaga Airport from JFK over the summer months. Malaga is about two hours drive from Seville. United would be offering Seville locals a much more convenient alternative.
The initial United flights will be seasonal, with ABC desevilla reporting that there will be five flights a week out of Seville starting next May. The flights will run over the summer. Nonetheless, Seville’s local government and airport authorities are keen to see the flights become year round.
As the report notes, the route would need to carry at least 50,000 passengers a year to be viable for United on a permanent ongoing basis. Between locals, tourists, the US soldiers and their families stationed nearby at Rota and Morón de la Frontera bases, the Seville authorities think this figure is achievable.
Seville’s airport is currently the sixth busiest in Spain. It handles over 5,000,000 passengers a year via some 19 airlines flying predominantly to Europe and North Africa. Vueling and Ryanair maintain bases at the airport. Ryanair, in particular, has a big presence at the airport, with flights from Seville to over 40 destinations.
And no word on the aircraft type
There is no word on what type of aircraft will service the route. There is some speculation that it could be a Boeing 757-200 or a Boeing 767. While these older aircraft may not be as appealing as the fresh new 787 Dreamliners United operate on some routes, the airline is retrofitting its 767’s with their excellent Polaris business class seats and a 22 seat premium economy cabin.
In terms of passenger numbers, United are now the second largest airline in the world. The past 12 months have seen the airline ramp up existing services and introduce new routes. While the Boeing 737 MAX crisis is causing issues on the domestic travel front for United, it expects to take delivery of 40 new aircraft in 2019 and retire nine, boosting its overall capacity. It is also making a concerted effort to offer a better inflight product, particularly in its premium cabins.
United is an airline on a roll and the expected announcement soon of the Seville flights will only reinforce this.