United Reveals New Transatlantic Routes For 2023

United Reveals New Transatlantic Routes For 2023

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Yesterday United Airlines teased some new international routes, and today the airline has revealed the full details. There are some cool new routes, though I’d say the announcement isn’t quite as exciting as some past ones, as the expansion here is fairly limited. Then again, United already has a massive transatlantic network, so there’s only so much the airline can grow.

United Airlines adds more summer 2023 international flights

United Airlines has updated its summer 2023 schedule to reflect some new routes. With this, United plans to fly to 37 cities in Europe, Africa, India, and the Middle East, described as more destinations in the region than all other US airlines combined.

In reality, a couple of these routes have already been announced prior to today, including Newark to Dubai and Washington to Berlin, so I won’t cover the details of those. Which routes are being announced today for the first time?

United will fly from Newark to Malaga, Spain

As of May 31, 2023, United will launch a 3x weekly seasonal route between Newark (EWR) and Malaga (AGP). The route will be operated by a Boeing 757-200.

This will be United’s fifth destination in Spain (in addition to Barcelona, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, and Tenerife), and this will be United’s first time flying to Malaga, as Delta is the only US airline that flew to Malaga pre-pandemic (though the route hasn’t been resumed since).

United’s 757 business class

United will fly from Newark to Stockholm, Sweden

As of May 27, 2023, United will launch a daily seasonal route between Newark (EWR) and Stockholm (ARN). The route will be operated by a Boeing 757-200.

United flew to Stockholm from 2005 to 2019. The route was supposed to make a comeback in 2021, but that didn’t happen. Delta also recently announced it would launch New York to Stockholm flights as of next summer.

United will fly from San Francisco to Rome, Italy

As of May 25, 2023, United will launch a daily seasonal route between San Francisco (SFO) and Rome (FCO). The route will be operated by a Boeing 777-200ER.

With this addition, United will offer nonstop flights from San Francisco to seven destinations in Europe. United also flies to Rome out of Chicago, Newark, and Washington.

United will fly a 777-200ER from San Francisco to Rome

United will fly from Chicago to Shannon, Ireland

As of May 25, 2023, United will launch a daily seasonal route between Chicago (ORD) and Shannon (SNN). The route will be operated by a Boeing 757-200.

United is the only US airline to fly direct to Shannon, and this service complements United’s existing service to Shannon out of Newark.

United will fly from Chicago to Barcelona, Spain

As of May 25, 2023, United will launch a daily seasonal route between Chicago (ORD) and Barcelona (BCN). The route will be operated by a Boeing 787-8.

This service complements United’s existing service to Barcelona out of Newark and Washington.

United’s 787 business class

United will add more flights to London & Paris

In addition to adding new routes, United will be expanding capacity in existing markets:

  • As of March 25, 2023, United will launch a second daily seasonal flight between Los Angeles (LAX) and London (LHR)
  • As of June 2, 2022, United will launch a second daily seasonal flight between Washington (IAD) and Paris (CDG)

Bottom line

United Airlines is adding some new transatlantic destinations in the summer of 2023. Malaga is the only totally new destination being announced for the first time today, though there are some other cool new routes to existing destinations, in addition to previously announced routes.

What do you make of United’s new transatlantic routes?

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  1. Darren C Diamond

    IAH got left out, again.
    Mafia boss Jeff Smisek started the neglect when he sold out to Chicago United.
    This is similar to what happened to Boeing when they moved their HQ to Chicago.
    Though I am a UA 1K and 1MM, I fly AA, AS, and OW more than ever these days.

  2. Mantis Guest

    What was the bit with the cherry blossoms and the bear all about then?

  3. Malcolm neal Guest

    Will United ( or someone) please fly to Birmingham BHX England. Its England's second largest city and gateway to the middle of the country. Lots go there from the States but have to connect in Europe. A non-stop please!!

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Being the "second largest city" doesn't mean squat to an airline, even in terms of population research, which itself is of low consideration in the grand scheme of service.

      They're going to look at the metropolitan catchment area, not the city-proper, and MAN is literally twice the size of BHX in that regard, to claim "second largest" in England in a way that would be of any interest to an airline.

      BHX lags not only...

      Being the "second largest city" doesn't mean squat to an airline, even in terms of population research, which itself is of low consideration in the grand scheme of service.

      They're going to look at the metropolitan catchment area, not the city-proper, and MAN is literally twice the size of BHX in that regard, to claim "second largest" in England in a way that would be of any interest to an airline.

      BHX lags not only MAN, but several other UK regions in GVA, GDP per capita, and key measures, as well.... which explains why no airline is in a hurry to add TATL service thereto, relative to other areas first.

  4. CXP Member

    Was excited to see UA add SFO-FCO until I went to look up several dates in 2023 and found not a single saver award seat in Polaris available. IN and PZ are consistently zeroed out on int'l Polaris routes - if you're lucky they may open a seat a few days before departure. As a Global Services customer I would expect to be able to use my miles at some point, for something other than...

    Was excited to see UA add SFO-FCO until I went to look up several dates in 2023 and found not a single saver award seat in Polaris available. IN and PZ are consistently zeroed out on int'l Polaris routes - if you're lucky they may open a seat a few days before departure. As a Global Services customer I would expect to be able to use my miles at some point, for something other than an econ seat but United apparently thinks it's ok to block business awards even when the entire plane has not a single seat booked. I have been super unhappy with availability on United. Has anyone had a better experience?

    1. Watson Gold

      No, but I'm just a 1K. I do see PN available from time to time, which you as a GS should be able to use.

  5. Dick Bupkiss Guest

    From my perspective...

    I'm a west coast resident. And I am actually fairly happy with my experiences with United Airlines, want them to be successful, and for me they are a reasonable choice in many cases. But...

    United is just not much of a "Pacific" airline. They abandoned many of their trans-Pacific routes years ago and have shown little interest in just restoring those, never mind expanding to be a major trans-Pac player. They've given...

    From my perspective...

    I'm a west coast resident. And I am actually fairly happy with my experiences with United Airlines, want them to be successful, and for me they are a reasonable choice in many cases. But...

    United is just not much of a "Pacific" airline. They abandoned many of their trans-Pacific routes years ago and have shown little interest in just restoring those, never mind expanding to be a major trans-Pac player. They've given up on west coast hubs, other than SFO and LAX. They've also completely given up on nonstops to Europe from major west cities (Seattle, Portland, and more). To me, and plenty of other west coast residents, United is really an Atlantic and domestic airline, not one that has any real interest in international routes serving the west coast, except San Francisco.

    Personally, I'm not crazy about flying on United's 757s or 767s, even the 767s that have (finally) had Polaris cabins squeezed in.

    That said, I'm happy to see United adding non-stop service from SFO to Italy. Nonstop flights from anywhere on the west coast to anywhere Italy are about as rare as hens teeth, a vast under-served market. More of that, please.

    1. JWags Guest

      I'm not sure this makes sense.

      United flies to PVG, PKE, HKG, and HND (formerly NRT) from ORD.

      NRT and SYD from IAD.

      When you add SFO, additionally you have CCU, PPT, ICN, SIN, KIX, TPE, and AKL.

      Thats 14 unique destinations from their 3 Midwest/West hubs. Hitting basically all the major international hubs in SE Asia. Not sure what routes they are so deficient in.

      And where should they have more hubs on...

      I'm not sure this makes sense.

      United flies to PVG, PKE, HKG, and HND (formerly NRT) from ORD.

      NRT and SYD from IAD.

      When you add SFO, additionally you have CCU, PPT, ICN, SIN, KIX, TPE, and AKL.

      Thats 14 unique destinations from their 3 Midwest/West hubs. Hitting basically all the major international hubs in SE Asia. Not sure what routes they are so deficient in.

      And where should they have more hubs on the West Coast when they have hubs at 2 of the 3 busiest airports west of the Mississippi and dominate SFO, the same way they do EWR, in a way that lets them reach almost anywhere. Delta has 2 plus SLC, same way United has 2 plus Denver. American only has 1.

    2. Mike C Diamond

      @JWags, NRT and SYD from IAD? I'm not sure Dulles counts as a West Coast gateway, and in any case UA doesn't serve SYD from there. You may have meant IAH which they do operate from. UA has more services to Australia than any other US carrier, with current or planned routes (IIRC) to SYD, MEL and BNE from LAX and SFO in addition to the IAH route. Even so, that's only from the two main hubs and not from any other West Coast cities, which was @Dick Bupkiss' main gripe.

    3. JWags Guest

      Yea, my bad, I meant IAH clearly :)

      I understood his gripe, but just didn't really find it to make sense. Not sure why adding another big hub on the West Coast is reasonable when they already extensive operations on 2 of the largest.

      Seemed like he was complaining about UA in comparing them to some mythical "ideal" airline that wasn't really grounded in sense, just personal annoyance and emotion

    4. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Almost none of what you're writing makes sense. Where exactly do you expect them to offer western routes from, if not their actual hubs... which happen to be the two biggest hubs out west?

      SEA is a smaller market split between two carriers, Portland is a much smaller market with a single carrier already offering its two biggest O&D routes, and SAN is even smaller than that, with terrible geography for connecting anyone in...

      Almost none of what you're writing makes sense. Where exactly do you expect them to offer western routes from, if not their actual hubs... which happen to be the two biggest hubs out west?

      SEA is a smaller market split between two carriers, Portland is a much smaller market with a single carrier already offering its two biggest O&D routes, and SAN is even smaller than that, with terrible geography for connecting anyone in the US to anywhere other than the south Pacific.... for which it has a mere fraction of the traffic that LAX/SFO generate.

  6. Joanne Guest

    How about bringing back Newark to Manchester, UK? JFK is a pain to get to from NJ but the only one offering direct in the area

  7. Super VC10 Guest

    (Yawn) It's United Airlines. Frankly, I don't understand why anyone flies them. Ever.

    1. Josh Guest

      Your comment is a yawn fest. United has improved exponentially in recent years.

  8. Donna Diamond

    UA still flies a lot of old widebody klunkers, 757s due for retirement (sooner rather than later) and 767s which are still awaiting Polaris retrofit (how many years has it been now?). Their A350 deliveries may arrive eventually but in the meantime, this “expansion” seems more like a shell game than any real progress.

    1. Dick Bupkiss Guest

      Gotta agree. Long flights on a 767 or even a 757? No thank you.

    2. Will Guest

      Aren’t most of the 767’s Polaris now? This year I’ve flown on 767’s to Chile and Hawaii and got Polaris each time. The seats are great - I think a bit wider than on the 777 and 787.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      The 757s will be replaced byt the A321XLRs when that plane is certified. Airbus builds great products but stuffing jet fuel into every corner of a fuselage does have some legitimate questions that need to be answered.
      There is no replacement for the 767-300ER or -400, which both Delta and United operate. It is possible to keep those aircraft up to date with fresh cabins and their economics really are not much worse than...

      The 757s will be replaced byt the A321XLRs when that plane is certified. Airbus builds great products but stuffing jet fuel into every corner of a fuselage does have some legitimate questions that need to be answered.
      There is no replacement for the 767-300ER or -400, which both Delta and United operate. It is possible to keep those aircraft up to date with fresh cabins and their economics really are not much worse than newer aircraft if at all. The 767 is lighter than the 787 by tens of thousands of pounds and the 767 is well-suited for 4000-5000 mile routes which is most US-Europe flights.
      The 777s are the real aircraft that are economically obsolete; the 777-200/ERs of which UA operates the largest fleet in the world burn 30% more fuel than new generation aircraft including the 787-9 in UA's fleet. Because UA has such a boatload of 777-200/ERs, the replacement cost will be well north of ten billion dollars, a massive bill on top of the huge narrowbody fleet UA has on order.
      Even the 777-300ERs are bested by the A350-1000 and the coming 777X, each by 30% or more per seat.
      UA's CEO has indicated it really wants the 787 rather than the A350 but the A350 is the largest currently operating new generation large twin widebody and some still estimate that the A350-1000 will have better economics than the 777-9 which is possible since the A350 is slightly smaller. Both the 777-9 and 350-1000 have far more range than anything in UA's fleet so they will either be outclassed by airlines with younger, more capable fleets or they will have to add one of those two new models to their fleet.

      Given that UA only has the A350s on order and is nearly at the end of its 787 deliveries, they will be playing a shell game until they accept the a350s, place a massive order, and/or start replacing their 777s w/ more economical and capable new generation engined widebodies.

    4. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "but stuffing jet fuel into every corner of a fuselage does have some legitimate questions that need to be answered"

      Not really. Don't know why anyone (including regulators) are pretending that it's new, when the exact same issue came up and was resolved vis-a-vis the A340-500's center rear tank.

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Airbus intends to put fuel in the side walls of the fuselage behind the wing which is considerably different than on other aircraft.
      People argue that Boeing has pushed the 737 too far and maybe the XLR is the same for the A321neo

    6. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "which is considerably different than on other aircraft."

      Again, as per the example given, your claim is incorrect.

      The permanent center rear fuel tank in the A340-500 follows the concept being proposed for the A321XLR, and faced the same scrutiny (i.e. what happens in the event of a belly landing?!) that the latter faces now.

      Seeing as the solution of a kevlar+viton concussion lining + slight fortification of the belly fairing, is "all" it...

      "which is considerably different than on other aircraft."

      Again, as per the example given, your claim is incorrect.

      The permanent center rear fuel tank in the A340-500 follows the concept being proposed for the A321XLR, and faced the same scrutiny (i.e. what happens in the event of a belly landing?!) that the latter faces now.

      Seeing as the solution of a kevlar+viton concussion lining + slight fortification of the belly fairing, is "all" it took for certification, and ALSO the proposed "fix" for the A321XLR now....... I'm left wondering what the big deal truly is, save for media buzz.

  9. ECR12 Guest

    Worth mentioning Newark to Bergen route being discontinued (per liveandletsfly). Sad!

  10. Never In Doubt Guest

    Since we had none, any nonstop to Italy is great from SFO, but I’d have rather they started with Milan.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      AZ attempted SFO-MXP in 1999 and again in the post-9/11 era, and both times flopped hard.

  11. Jason H Guest

    Awww.. I was hoping for more transatlantic flights out of Denver. I have used the LHR and MUC flights several times, but a few more would be welcome. Probably the difficulty of the high-altitude summer heat takeoffs, but a person can dream

    1. DENDAVE Member

      I was also disappointed that DEN was left out. The altitude and the heat are only an issue, from my understanding, for the largest and heaviest aircraft at DEN (it has the longest commercial runway in NA) and I've never heard of an issue with 787s there. For United's talk of growth and profitability at their DEN hub, they really only seem interested in using it for domestic connections. I thought CDG was a real...

      I was also disappointed that DEN was left out. The altitude and the heat are only an issue, from my understanding, for the largest and heaviest aircraft at DEN (it has the longest commercial runway in NA) and I've never heard of an issue with 787s there. For United's talk of growth and profitability at their DEN hub, they really only seem interested in using it for domestic connections. I thought CDG was a real possibility since they seem to launch Europe routes that others already do at DEN.

    2. Weymar Osborne Gold

      I definitely thought a DEN-CDG route would be introduced sooner rather than later to fend off Air France in the market.

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Size and weight don't have a direct correlation to DEN's altitude issue.

      Aircraft with increased wing and/or tire loading are going to struggle more than less.
      Twinjets will struggle more than quads.

      A 77W at MTOW would be hell getting out of DEN, whereas a 744/748 or even A343 (gasp!) wouldn't be nearly as troubled.

      77L can do it on pure power-to-weight, but its issue can be tire-speed, that's why DL had Boeing...

      Size and weight don't have a direct correlation to DEN's altitude issue.

      Aircraft with increased wing and/or tire loading are going to struggle more than less.
      Twinjets will struggle more than quads.

      A 77W at MTOW would be hell getting out of DEN, whereas a 744/748 or even A343 (gasp!) wouldn't be nearly as troubled.

      77L can do it on pure power-to-weight, but its issue can be tire-speed, that's why DL had Boeing + Goodyear build and certify a new tire for it back when it first began its JNB-ATL nonstops, now taken over by A359s.

  12. Gabe Guest

    I selfishly like Malaga because I have family in Granada; it's a lot easier to get there from Malaga than Granada. But the passport control line for leaving the Schengen zone can be fiercely long.

  13. dn10 Guest

    Surprised at the Chicago to Shannon route but hopefully it works out

    1. MikeK Guest

      I flew that route on United in 2017. Glad to see it back.

  14. Todd Guest

    FYI Ben, you say that Delta is starting ARN next summer, but they are currently already flying JFK-ARN; they (re)started the route this past summer (2022) and is running it almost year-round (except for the period between mid-January and early March).

  15. Courtney Guest

    Gravelly Point Guy, what's your problem? Your comment was entirely uncalled for.

  16. Hammer New Member

    I thought United didn’t serve IAD-SNN

    1. david Guest

      They don't. They serve IAD- DUB

  17. Tim Dunn Diamond

    looks like this is partially funded through cancelling Prague and Bergamo.
    other than the A350s which UA keeps pushing back, UA is at the end of its confirmed widebody order book which means they have likely reached the maximum size they can be and will have to cut transatlantic routes as the Pacific continues to reopen.

    1. TO6 Guest

      FYI, they are cancelling Bergen (Norway), not Bergamo.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      thank you for that correction. :-)

    3. Never In Doubt Guest

      Tim Dunn, the former Delta employee/ current OMAAT Delta sycophant, would simply like all of you to know how great Delta’s doing, and how badly its competition is.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      It would be great if you could discuss the issues including what I raise rather than the users; since you choose the "user" route, apparently there is no factual disagreement wiht what I have written.

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      actually, I'm quite comfortable in my skin.
      United cancelled flights just as it added some. It isn't too much to note what gets axed in order to add more flights.
      And UA hasn't given up on its aspirations of being the largest airline across the Pacific based on their public comments.
      They are focused on buying hundreds of narrowbody aircraft in large part because of their need to replace the hundreds of...

      actually, I'm quite comfortable in my skin.
      United cancelled flights just as it added some. It isn't too much to note what gets axed in order to add more flights.
      And UA hasn't given up on its aspirations of being the largest airline across the Pacific based on their public comments.
      They are focused on buying hundreds of narrowbody aircraft in large part because of their need to replace the hundreds of 50 seat regional jets that they have held onto years after American and Delta started reducing the numbers of those aircraft.
      United simply does not have the new widebody deliveries to continue to grow which means they will have to cut other international routes in order to restart Pacific flights as that demand returns.
      Noting all of that is not "sucky" but balanced commentary.
      It is hard to understand why someone would resist having a balanced commentary on any airline news.

    6. Gravelly Point Guy Guest

      FYI Dunn, UA’s wideboby fleet count, as of today, is 221 acft. More than Dl and AA combined. New 100 plus order notwithstanding, UA not only has enough metal right here right now to fulfill east and west transcontinental schedules, it could easily rehub say the likes of a ohh, I don’t know, JFK and really give your precious delta a run for its money. Oh and btw, the new wide body order is not...

      FYI Dunn, UA’s wideboby fleet count, as of today, is 221 acft. More than Dl and AA combined. New 100 plus order notwithstanding, UA not only has enough metal right here right now to fulfill east and west transcontinental schedules, it could easily rehub say the likes of a ohh, I don’t know, JFK and really give your precious delta a run for its money. Oh and btw, the new wide body order is not a substitution or replacing order, it is also meant for net growth. The only fleet getting replaced is the 767-300. So, do the math dude , and then you can go ahead and spill your vermin.

    7. OliverBoliver New Member

      Hey Gravelly, why don't you tell us how you really feel?

    8. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "Tim Dunn, you’re such a LOSER, really, I pity people like you. It must suck being you."

      Maybe, though taking airplane-talk this seriously, doesn't appear to have left you all that stable either......

  18. Sharon Guest

    United continues to expand tactically and impressively!

    I am very impressed with United's additions and that 4/5 of last year's new destinations will continue next year.

    Where is United getting their 787-8 availabilities from these routes? Or is it from the removal of the Chendu service?

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      They're not flying anywhere near the capacity they were to Asia/Pacific pre-2020, so that's a big contributor.

      It'll be interesting to see how many of these stick around, as China eventually re-opens.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Tim Dunn Diamond

actually, I'm quite comfortable in my skin. United cancelled flights just as it added some. It isn't too much to note what gets axed in order to add more flights. And UA hasn't given up on its aspirations of being the largest airline across the Pacific based on their public comments. They are focused on buying hundreds of narrowbody aircraft in large part because of their need to replace the hundreds of 50 seat regional jets that they have held onto years after American and Delta started reducing the numbers of those aircraft. United simply does not have the new widebody deliveries to continue to grow which means they will have to cut other international routes in order to restart Pacific flights as that demand returns. Noting all of that is not "sucky" but balanced commentary. It is hard to understand why someone would resist having a balanced commentary on any airline news.

3
Tim Dunn Diamond

looks like this is partially funded through cancelling Prague and Bergamo. other than the A350s which UA keeps pushing back, UA is at the end of its confirmed widebody order book which means they have likely reached the maximum size they can be and will have to cut transatlantic routes as the Pacific continues to reopen.

3
ConcordeBoy Diamond

"Tim Dunn, you’re such a LOSER, really, I pity people like you. It must suck being you." Maybe, though taking airplane-talk this seriously, doesn't appear to have left you all that stable either......

2
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