July Sees United Operate Its Most Widebody Domestic Flights In 20 Years

There is something exciting about flying widebodies domestically, at least until you get off. This month, United Airlines has (almost) more domestic services by twin-aisle aircraft than at any other point in the last 20 years. We explore what’s happening and discover that all seven of its widebody types are being used.

United B787-9
The B787-9 is most commonly used from San Francisco to Washington. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

United has some 3,432 domestic widebody flights this month, examining schedules provided by the carrier to data experts OAG shows. This is an increase of 1,042 over pre-pandemic July 2019 and it is more than all of France’s flights on one July day.

United B767
The B767-300ER has more flights than any other type. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Almost the most widebodies in 20 years

Only two other months in the past two decades have seen more widebody flights: August 2004 (3,678) and July 2004 (3,549). We previously looked into the steep surge in US domestic widebody operations.

The big jump is from moving into summer and higher demand and the availability of aircraft that would have been used for long-haul services. It has also been helped by Independence Day.

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United's domestic widebody flights
How have United’s widebody operations changed? Image: Simple Flying using data from OAG

All twin-aisle types are used this month

United will deploy all seven widebody types domestically this month, although in radically different amounts. With one-third of the total, the workhorse B767-300ER will have by far the most movements.

  1. B767-300ER: approximately 1,112 domestic flights
  2. B777-200ER: 695
  3. B777-300ER: 652
  4. B787-9: 460
  5. B787-8: 275
  6. B767-400ER: 124
  7. B787-10: 114

However, if families are added together, the B777 has the most flights (1,347). Last month, we found that American had 70 domestic flights by the B777 on one June day.

The amount of domestic service by United’s largest widebody, the B777-300ER, is notable. United has 22 of them, each with 350 seats across four cabins. According to ch-aviation.com, they have an average age of just 3.6 years.

United B777-300ER from Los Angeles to Chicago
United has only one B777-300ER-operated service from Los Angeles to Chicago this month. The type will not be operating in the other direction. Taking off on July 2nd, it departed Los Angeles at 01:07 local time. N2737U had the honor, with the aircraft delivered in June 2017. The B787-9 is the main widebody on this route. Image: RadarBox.com.

38 routes see widebodies

As you might expect, the 2,398-mile link from United’s San Francisco hub to Honolulu sees by far the most widebodies, OAG schedules confirm. The B777-300ER, B777-200ER, and the B767-300ER all operate, with this an all-widebody route. The top-10 routes are shown below the photo.

Six domestic routes are over 4,000 miles: Newark-Honolulu; Newark-Kahului; Honolulu-Washington; Chicago-Honolulu; Chicago-Kona; and Chicago-Kahului. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.
  1. San Francisco-Honolulu: 310 widebody round-trip flights
  2. Los Angeles-Newark: 227
  3. Newark-San Francisco: 188
  4. San Francisco-Washington: 155
  5. Houston Intercontinental-San Francisco: 152
  6. Denver-Honolulu: 124
  7. Denver-Houston: 124
  8. Denver-Kahului: 124
  9. Denver-Chicago: 123
  10. Honolulu-Los Angeles: 122
United's domestic widebody routes this month
San Francisco has the highest number of domestic widebodies this July. Note that some of the routes in the map are one-offs mainly around Independence Day, such as Houston-Las Vegas and Denver-San Francisco. Image: OAG Mapper

The best routes to see each type

Want to fly a particular type? This month, the best place to get on each is as follows, based on the number of flights planned. For the 787-9, Houston-Los Angeles has the same number of services as San Francisco to Newark.

  • B767-300ER: San Francisco and Los Angeles to New York JFK
  • B767-400ER: Newark and Washington to Honolulu (two domestic routes only)
  • B777-200ER: Chicago to Denver and multiple once-daily routes, like Newark-Las Vegas
  • B777-300ER: San Francisco and Los Angeles to Honolulu
  • B787-8: San Francisco to Chicago and Chicago to Kaluhlui
  • B787-9: San Francisco to Washington and Newark
  • B787-10: Newark to Los Angeles (one domestic route only)

Are you flying a twin-aisle this month? Let us know in the comments.