United Airlines plans big expansion of flights to Europe ahead of summer travel season

United Airlines plans to offer more flights across the Atlantic this summer than in 2019, provided that international travel returns strongly. Despite persistent epidemics.

United said Tuesday it would increase trans-Atlantic passenger capacity by 25 percent compared to pre-epidemic levels by combining new destinations and old favourite destinations like London.

This is the largest transatlantic increase in United’s history, said Patrick Coyle, senior vice president of international network airlines.

“We will be the biggest carriers in the transatlantic,” he said.

This weekend, United will begin service to several new destinations it named last fall, including the Azores of Portugal and the Canary Islands of Spain. The company is also adding flights – for example, jumping to 22 daily flights from the United States to London at the end of May.

Before Tuesday’s announcement, United had planned to carry more passengers than its closest rivals in June and July – 15% more than Delta Airlines and 36% more than American Airlines, according to research firm Cerem. According to statistics. Each carrier also has European partner airlines.

United’s annual revenue from US-Europe flights fell from 7. 7.4 billion before the epidemic to 2. 2.2 billion in 2020. That’s up from 3.4 billion last year, or 14% of total revenue.

United was the first major airline needed. Vaccination for all employees. The company said 99.7 percent of its approximately 67,000 employees have complied with the mandate. Scott Kirby, CEO of United, told CBS Morning in October that 232 workers had not been vaccinated and were now facing dismissal.

Allegations of ongoing travel breaks need to be investigated.

United’s development plans are at risk as international flights have overtaken recovery in domestic travel. Airlines are largely blaming the US requirement that passengers receive a negative test within a day of boarding a flight to the US for COVID-19. Some Americans are unwilling to take the risk of being stranded abroad for several extra days if they become infected with the virus during their travels.

“The need for testing is preventing a lot of people from travelling than they might otherwise have taken,” said Scott Keys, a flight expert and founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, a website that offers airfare for its members. Finds deals. Recently told CBS Money Watch

Kerry Chen, a professor of decisions, risk and operations at Columbia Business School, agrees that the need for testing has been a more significant obstacle to travel than the previous mask mandate. American Airlines has made it mandatory for both passengers and employees to wear masks in the wake of a judge’s April 18 ruling. Abolished transit masking rules for disease control and prevention centres.

“Certainly for international flights returning to the United States, there are people who are concerned about the financial implications of not returning to a positive check.” He told CBS Money Watch in March. It also said that skipping COVID-19 precautions could reduce travel demand from families with young children who are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Despite intense airline lobbying, the Biden administration has not indicated that it will remove the need for an investigation.

With the lack of pilots and the grounding of dozens of Boeing 777 jets – United had to push back its summer plans – after the Pratt & Whitney engine exploded over Denver in February 2021.

Coyle said Russia invades Ukraine Bookings in Europe do not appear to be affected – some other airline executives have said. United does not fly to Russia, Ukraine or two countries. Its nearest destination is Dubrovnik, Croatia. Coyle said, however, that there could be “a slight” weakness in connecting flights to Poland or Romania.