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United Plans 80% of Pre-Pandemic Flying

A United Boeing 787 over the runway in Amsterdam. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Fabian Behr)

With travel demand booming, United Airlines has announced additions to its summer flight schedule. On Monday, the Chicago-based carrier said it is adding over 400 daily flights in July and increasing service to many re-opened European cities. These additions put United’s domestic schedule near pre-pandemic levels. The carrier plans to operate roughly 80% of flights compared to July 2019, and summer bookings are up 214% compared to summer 2020.

Domestic Flight Schedule

United is adding new routes to summer hotspots including Bozeman, Montana; Orange County, California; Raleigh, North Carolina and Yellowstone/Cody, Wyoming. Furthermore, the airline is increasing frequencies out of its bases at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, giving convenient travel options for both leisure and business customers.

VP of Domestic Network Planning and Scheduling Ankit Gupta said, “This July we’re taking a big step toward flying at pre-pandemic levels for our domestic network. By adjusting our bank structures at two key hub airports, we’re able to offer our customers easy connections to destinations across the U.S. so they can start their vacations at times convenient for them.”

Compared to June 2021, United’s July domestic schedule will increase by 17%, including new routes and additional flight banks. The banks, which refers to how the airline clusters its flights, will give customers better connection options at two of its largest hubs. Specifically, Chicago will get two additional flight banks for a total of nine and 480 daily departures, and Washington’s Dulles International will get one flight bank for a total of three and over 220 daily departures. 

International Flight Schedule

A few weeks ago, United announced new nonstop services to European countries opened to vaccinated travelers, including Newark to Dubrovnik, Croatia; Washington’s Dulles to Athens, Greece and Chicago’s O’Hare to Reykjavik, Iceland. Newark to Dubrovnik was initially set to launch on July 7, but now that trans-Atlantic bookings are booming, the airline has moved that date up to July 1.

Furthermore, United will begin service to Athens from Newark in June using a Boeing 767-300, but it plans to use a Boeing 777-200ER for the journey starting in July. The larger plane will offer United’s Premium Plus seats and accommodate more passengers.

In addition to the Athens flight from Dulles, the airline is also adding a nonstop flight to Frankfurt, Germany. The route will allow for a one-stop connection to over 50 cities in the European Union. Meanwhile, customers can expect resumed service to Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon from Newark, assuming Spain and Portugal open their borders to vaccinated travelers.

United VP of International Network and Alliances Patrick Quayle said, “As we start to see a strong desire from our customers to travel internationally to re-opened countries, we are excited to move up service and add a fourth weekly flight to Dubrovnik, Croatia. And with the additional seats we’re adding to Athens, Greece, we continue to make creative adjustments to match our service with customer trends.”

Taylor Rains


  • Taylor Rains

    Taylor Rains graduated from Florida Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Aviation Management in 2017. She has worked in the aviation industry for the past five years and has a specialty in safety analytics for part 121 airlines, but she has also worked for a part 135 company in Alaska. Her experience has allowed her to work in many areas of aviation, including airport operations, flight operations, security, inflight, dispatch, and maintenance. Taylor is also an avid traveler and has used her flight benefits to fly on as many airlines and aircraft types as possible. So far, her favorite flight has been aboard KLM’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

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