Chicago-headquartered United Airlines has decided to cut its Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) flight to Manchester Airport (MAN) that was due to resume in the autumn. While no comment has come from the American carrier in the form of a written statement, it is almost certainly linked to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Routesonline noted a few days ago that the route had been pulled from the United Airlines website. The New York to Manchester flights were set to resume on October 24. In addition to being removed from the fall schedule, United has deleted it as being one of its summer 2021 routes.
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United operated a Boeing 767-300ER on the route
“Due to the decrease in demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, United will not resume its daily service between Manchester and New York/Newark.”
The flights in question are UAO80 EWR-MAN and UA81 MAN-EWR. The last time United flew the route was the return leg of the trip on March 20, using a Boeing 767-300ER fitted with 30 lie-flat seats in business and 184 seats in economy.
The Star Alliance member has said that any customer holding a Newark-Manchester or Manchester-Newark ticket will be offered other flight options or a full refund.
While United may have removed its presence from the northwest of England, it still offers two daily flights from Newark and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to London Heathrow (LHR).
Along with the two flights to London, starting July 9 United Airlines will add a daily flight from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) to London Heathrow.
Dropping the Manchester flight does not come as a surprise
United Airlines’ decision to remove the Newark to Manchester flight is no big surprise given what the airline bosses told employees in April. In a memo from Chief Executive Oscar Munoz and President Scott Kirby carried by CNBC, the pair said,
“The historically severe economic impact of this crisis means even when travel demand starts to inch back, it likely will not bounce back quickly. We believe that the health concerns about COVID-19 are likely to linger, which means even when social distancing measures are relaxed, and businesses and schools start to reopen, life won’t necessarily return to normal.”
Axing the Newark to Manchester flight will be one of the dozens that United will be looking to get rid of as it prepares to resume more long-haul flights.
The European Union is thinking about banning Americans
The executives at United Airlines might want to keep an eye on whether or not the European Union will ban travel from America to Europe. Brussels is hurridly putting together a list of which countries citizens will be allowed to enter the European Union starting in July.
In the document seen by the New York Times, the United States is not on the list. This puts Americans in the same boat as Brazilians and Russians, two countries where the government is deemed to have not done enough to stop the coronavirus from spreading.
What do you think about United dropping its manchester flight? We are not so surprised and think it is just one of many routes United will cut this summer.