After a few back-to-back years of splashy press releases and cocktail parties, United Airlines is out with its hotly anticipated transatlantic network announcement for next summer.
This year, however, the Chicago-based carrier is largely resting on its laurels as the biggest U.S. airline across the Atlantic. United is adding just one all-new destination and boosting frequencies on just three routes.
The most exciting part of United’s announcement is an all-new service to Faro, Portugal.
When service starts May 24, 2024, United will become the only airline connecting the U.S. to Portugal’s Algarve region with nonstop flights.
The flight will operate four times a week on Boeing 757-200 aircraft, which feature 16 Polaris business-class pods in an non competitive 2-2 configuration, as well as 42 extra-legroom Economy Plus seats and 118 economy seats.
Adding service to Faro is in line with United’s recent strategy of launching service to some smaller, unserved European destinations in the summer (such as Malaga, Spain, and Ponta Delgada, Portugal).
The airline has strategically used the Boeing 737 MAX and Boeing 757 to connect these markets without dumping too much capacity into a route to make it unprofitable.
United will resume flying to Iceland’s capital from Newark next summer, starting May 23, 2024. The airline will operate daily flights between Newark and Reykjavik using the Boeing 757.
his route did not operate during the 2023 summer season, though it had been on the schedule before abruptly being canceled. Either way, it technically represents a resumption for United since the airline last flew it in 2022.
The Newark-to-Reykjavik route will join United’s service to Iceland from Chicago.
Brussels, home to Belgian flag carrier Brussels Airlines, is a key Star Alliance connecting hub for traffic to Europe and Africa, so it might not necessarily be surprising to see United adding an additional daily flight to the city.
The carrier will offer a second daily flight between Newark and Brussels beginning March 30, 2024, with a Boeing 757.
This additional daily frequency joins United’s existing flight in the market, which was recently down-gauged from a Boeing 777-300ER to a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. The airline is clearly making up for this capacity decrease with the launch of a second frequency.
United is adding a second daily flight between Washington, D.C., and Rome on May 23, 2024, using a Boeing 767-300. Additionally, this new flight will allow United to sell additional one-stop itineraries that connect at Dulles International Airport to get to Italy.
Adding a second daily frequency will offer flyers based in the Washington area more options for getting to one of the most popular European destinations.
United also offers two daily flights from Newark to Rome in the summer, as well as one daily flight from Chicago and San Francisco.
The Points Guy.com / ABC Flash Point News 2023.