A couple of weeks ago, United Airlines announced a bunch of new international routes. Well, the airline is back today with even more new international flights. This includes one new route, and additional frequencies on three existing routes.
United adds flights to London
United Airlines has announced five additional frequencies to London as of the spring of 2022, meaning that the airline will operate a total of 22 daily flights to London. Here are the new frequencies that we can expect, all as of March 26, 2022:
- United will launch a daily Boston to London route, using the Boeing 767-300ER
- United will add a sixth and seventh daily Newark to London frequency, using the Boeing 767-300ER
- United will add a second daily Denver to London frequency, using the Boeing 787-9
- United will add a third daily San Francisco to London frequency, using the Boeing 787-9
When all is said and done, next summer United will offer the following frequencies to London:
- 1x daily out of Boston (BOS)
- 3x daily out of Chicago (ORD)
- 2x daily out of Denver (DEN)
- 2x daily out of Houston (IAH)
- 1x daily out of Los Angeles (LAX)
- 7x daily out of Newark (EWR)
- 3x daily out of San Francisco (SFO)
- 3x daily out of Washington Dulles (IAD)
My take on United’s London expansion
United is usually incredibly creative with international expansion, operating routes that other major airlines wouldn’t even consider. Today’s announcement is definitely a bit more “traditional.” We’re now seeing travel between the United States and United Kingdom open up in both directions for vaccinated travelers, so transatlantic demand will definitely start to come back.
Still, it’s anyone’s guess if business travel — which is how airlines make money on these routes — will return in 2022 the way that United is anticipating. I suspect that United has sufficient Heathrow slots that need to be used, so in that sense these added frequencies aren’t a surprise.
It’s cool to see United finally put its Boston to London route on sale. This flight was first announce in February 2021, and was clearly a response to JetBlue’s plans to launch transatlantic flights to London.
United will be facing significant competition in that market — American & British Airways have a joint venture, as do Delta & Virgin Atlantic, both with multiple daily frequencies. On top of that, you have JetBlue. It’ll be interesting to see the extent to which United can compete with one daily frequency, without disruptive pricing.
United Airlines has announced five additional daily frequencies to London as of March 2022, including the introduction of a new Boston to London route. United is betting big on a transatlantic recovery, as the airline will have 22 daily frequencies to London next summer.
What do you make of United Airlines’ London expansion?