Go Big Or Go Home: United Adds Five New Destinations In 10 Route Expansion

United Airlines has announced five new destinations for summer 2022, with five additional routes to existing destinations planned. Mainly oriented toward leisure travelers, United will be adding new flights to Jordan, the Azores, Norway, and Spain while bulking up flights to Germany, Italy, and Ireland. Here is what United has planned for summer 2022.

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United Airlines is launching some major new long-haul routes. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

United Airlines adds five new destinations to its map

United Airlines will launch nonstop service to five destinations next year. The first will be a nonstop flight starting on May 7th between Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) in Jordan. This flight will operate year-round using a Boeing 787-8 and connect two capital cities. In discussing the route, Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of International Network and Alliances, stated that the route had strong economic ties and tourism opportunities. United views Jordan as an up-and-coming hotspot for travelers.

Go Big Or Go Home: United Adds Five New Destinations In 10 Route Expansion
United will be the only US airline flying nonstop to Jordan. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

On May 13th, United will launch service from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Ponta Delgada – João Paulo II Airport (PDL). This flight will utilize a Boeing 737 MAX 8. United will be the only US carrier flying nonstop between the Azores and New York since Delta Air Lines dropped the route. United will fly this route daily.

On May 20th, also from Newark, United will launch flights to Bergen Flesland Airport (BGO) in Norway. This route will run three times per week. United will be the only US airline with flights to Norway next year using its Boeing 757-200 aircraft.

On June 2nd, United will launch flights to Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) in Spain from Newark. This route will run three times per week and utilize a Boeing 767-300ER. United will have a monopoly on the nonstop route from Newark to Palma de Mallorca.

The last new destination is Tenerife South Airport (TFS) in the Canary Islands. The only flight between the US and the Canaries, United will use a Boeing 757-200 on the route. Service will launch on June 9th with service three times per week.

Go Big Or Go Home: United Adds Five New Destinations In 10 Route Expansion
United is focusing heavily on some leisure routes in 2022. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Five more routes

United is also adding five more routes to its schedule. However, two of these are service expansions with three authentic new routes – all from United hubs to existing destinations in the carrier’s network.

The first new route will run from Denver International Airport (DEN) to Munich Airport (MUC). United will launch service on April 23rd using a Boeing 787-9. This will complement its flights to Frankfurt (FRA) from Denver, and United separately plans to resume London-Heathrow (LHR) service.

Go Big Or Go Home: United Adds Five New Destinations In 10 Route Expansion
Denver will get a connection to Munich with United Airlines. Photograph provided courtesy of Denver International Airport

The second route is from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP). United will use a Boeing 787-8 on this route with daily service starting on May 6th. This will complement United’s flights to Milan from Newark. The carrier will have a monopoly on this route.

The last new route is from Dulles (IAD) to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER). This route will begin on May 6th using a Boeing 767-400ER. United, again, will be the only airline flying this capital-to-capital service.

The two additional frequencies are on existing routes out of Newark. United will be adding a second daily flight starting on April 23rd to Dublin (DUB) using a Boeing 757-200. Meanwhile, a second daily flight to Rome (FCO) will launch from May 26th using a 777-200ER.

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United Airlines is expecting a record summer next year. Photo: Getty Images

Launching previously announced routes and cutting others

Seven previously announced international routes will be launching next year. This includes flights from Newark to Nice, a second daily flight from Newark to Frankfurt, service from Chicago to Zurich, San Francisco to Bangalore, and flights to Tokyo-Haneda from Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Newark.

This is in addition to United bringing back several transatlantic destinations that went dormant during the crisis. This includes Stockholm, Prague, Porto, Naples, and more. All of this comes as United expects a record summer in 2022 for transatlantic travel.

Three routes will be cut as part of poor performance and the ongoing crisis. This includes flights from Newark to Manchester and Glasgow. From San Francisco, United will not resume service to Dublin.

What to make of the expansion

First, United is making excellent progress on the rollout of its Polaris product. Reconfigurations continue with the 787-9 and 767-300ER fleet. Mr. Quayle shared that as of October 13th, United had only five 767-300ERs left to be retrofitted. The remaining 787-9s will be done by early summer of 2022. This will leave just the 16 767-400ERs as the only widebodies in United’s fleet without the new Polaris seat, so come next year, United will have made great strides on the consistency of its offering across its widebody fleet in a move targeting premium travelers. The 757-200s, though not a widebody, also offer lie-flat seats, but not Polaris.

Go Big Or Go Home: United Adds Five New Destinations In 10 Route Expansion
United will offer the authentic Polaris experience for business class travelers on more flights next year. Photo: United Airlines

A common theme across all of these routes is that United will face no competition. This will be a huge benefit for the carrier as it is trying out some unique routes that are not without risk. Other gambles, however, have paid off in the past. Plus, the fact that United will launch these flights from its hubs where it can offer connecting opportunities will certainly be a benefit and help keep planes full.

United is trying to tap into leisure routes in summer 2022 that it believes will be winners in the long run. It has already been announced that service to Dubrovnik, Athens, and Iceland that was added this year will be returning next year. Though predominantly leisure in bent, these routes are part of United’s opportunistic strategy to, in the words of Mr. Quayle, “new, unexpected places that we believe will become the hottest destinations in the years to come.”

Go Big Or Go Home: United Adds Five New Destinations In 10 Route Expansion
United is expecting a huge summer in 2022. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

With transpacific travel down, United Airlines has plenty of widebodies it can reorient to service transatlantic demand, which is something it has done. Do not forget the airline has already devoted planes to Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, and more flights to Delhi. Couple this with the fact that United did not retire any widebody fleets during the pandemic, and the airline is sitting on 30 more widebody jets come June 2022 – assuming 787 deliveries can resume – than it had in June 2019. This is a major underlying factor in all this growth United is doing.

Looming over this are the 777s grounded that have Pratt & Whitney engines. While United is working on a fix in conjunction with the engine manufacturer and regulators, there is no clear timeline on when those crucial widebodies will be back in the system. But, when they are back, United may bring back even more flying or add some new routes. For now, however, there is no clear timeline on when those jets will take to the skies again.

Are you going to fly any of these new United flights? Let us know in the comments!