United Airlines’ Awesome New International Routes

United Airlines’ Awesome New International Routes

56

United Airlines has just revealed all new international routes for 2022, and there are quite some interesting flights among them. United sure knows how to generate buzz, because the airline let us avgeeks guess the new routes. Let’s go over the details of United’s latest international expansion.

United Airlines’ five new international destinations

Most exciting of all, United Airlines will add flights to five all new destinations that weren’t previously served. These include the following:

  • Amman, Jordan (AMM) — as of May 5, 2022, United will launch a 3x weekly flight from Washington using a Boeing 787-8
  • Ponta Delgada, Portugal (PDL) — as of May 13, 2022, United will launch a 3x weekly flight (daily from July through August) from Newark using a Boeing 737 MAX 8
  • Bergen, Norway (BGO) — as of May 20, 2022, United will launch a 3x weekly flight from Newark using a Boeing 757-200
  • Tenerife, Spain (TFS) — as of June 2, 2022, United will launch a 3x weekly flight from Newark using a Boeing 757-200
  • Palma de Mallorca, Spain (PMI) — as of June 9, 2022, United will launch a 3x weekly flight from Newark using a Boeing 767-300

Those are some pretty cool additions. The Amman route seems like it’s primarily motivated by government traffic, both given the origin in Washington, as well as United not otherwise having a partner airline there (Royal Jordanian is in the oneworld alliance).

The new European routes are great as well, giving summer travelers the opportunity to fly nonstop to many vacation hotspots, rather than having to connect. That being said, United’s 757s don’t exactly have a great onboard product, and for that matter the 737 MAX 8 doesn’t have a proper business class (however, the Azores is really more like a transcon flight than a transatlantic flight in terms of distance).

United’s new international destinations

United Airlines’ three new international routes

In addition to adding service to five new cities, United will also add new routes to three existing cities. Specifically:

  • As of April 23, 2022, United will add a daily flight between Denver and Munich using a Boeing 787-9
  • As of May 6, 2022, United will add a daily flight between Washington and Berlin using a Boeing 767-400
  • As of May 6, 2022, United will add a daily flight between Chicago and Milan using a Boeing 787-8

I’m always happy to see more nonstop flights to Berlin from the United States, since it’s a great city.

United’s new international routes

Now I’m even more confused by the clues

Yesterday United Airlines released an awesome teaser video about the new routes, and it’s always so fun to play along and see how many routes we could guess.

Now that the routes have been announced and I’m going back to look at the video, am I the only one that’s confused by many of these clues?

For example, apparently a clue for the Amman service was the departure board at Washington Dulles showing flight UA15906. There’s significance to that — that’s 5,965 (the distance of the flight in miles) divided by eight (because the route is a Boeing 787-8) and multiplied by three (the frequency of the route). Were we seriously supposed to guess that?

And then what was the significance of luggage lock showing the numbers “102” and “324?” I was so sure we were going to see a tag flight (not to be confused with a TAAG flight) between Accra and Luanda, given that those are the country codes for Ghana and Angola. Was that intended just to throw us off, or…?

Bottom line

United Airlines is by far the most global of the major airlines in the United States, as the carrier operates some pretty impressive routes. It’s always exciting to see more nonstop international routes, and in this case United didn’t disappoint — from Amman, to popular summer vacation destinations in Europe, United has several great new additions here.

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

Conversations (56)
Newest comments are displayed first.

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.

Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Expanding Thinking

    Any (new) routes to Africa?

  2. Howard Miller

    Yeah, there were some sneaky -or of course, some might say clever - curveballs, to throw people off the scent, too!

    For example, towards the end, the confidential envelope is marked, in part:

    “TO: M.PQ”

    But, when searching 3-letter airport codes, MPQ is identified as a teeny tiny airport in Maan, Jordan, so of course, when one sees **THAT** the thought process in their brain (or at least my broken brain, anyway) goes something like,...

    Yeah, there were some sneaky -or of course, some might say clever - curveballs, to throw people off the scent, too!

    For example, towards the end, the confidential envelope is marked, in part:

    “TO: M.PQ”

    But, when searching 3-letter airport codes, MPQ is identified as a teeny tiny airport in Maan, Jordan, so of course, when one sees **THAT** the thought process in their brain (or at least my broken brain, anyway) goes something like, “huh! well…that’s nice, but the ONLY possible city an airline the size of United could possibly fly to *IF* they were to fly to Jordan at all, is Amman, surely not a place most people never heard of in a country the airline has never flown to/from before…**NEXT**…”

    But, for sure, Jordan did come up in my initial attempt to solve some of the clues, but again, when the city was Maan instead of Amman, my broken brain rejected the idea of United flying anywhere in Jordan.

    Also found the countries, Portugal & Norway, easy to figure out, but was not on track for Ponta Del Gada or Bergen, respectively after falling for the Maan, Jordan fake out & being stumped by the “TO: M.PQ” clue that went nowhere when searching for other clues that might reveal what that meant!

    Oh, well…better luck next time/year!

  3. Douglas Frost DeNunzio

    A transatlantic aircraft from Heathrow to New York City is an average 7.5 hour flight!

  4. Bob

    PDL wont attract American tourists. It's not a destination for Americans, no chain hotels, no chain restaurants.

    This is more about the Azoran diaspora in the US/Canada going home (SATA has been flying this route for years)

  5. New hub flyer

    Did United reveal all the clues and thoughts behind them? I would really like to know more of the clues and puzzle pieces.

  6. Steven E

    Great routes and great aircraft …. Wait… well not really 757’s and 767’s - the onboard experience isn’t one I’d like to try again

  7. Colin

    Where are you getting those country codes from Ben?

  8. Gman58

    Holy cow! I've been tinkering around looking to go to PMI in the coming year or so! It's a special place from my wife's early childhood and getting her back there is on my 'to do' 'list for her!! And DIRECT from my closest UA hub (EWR) !!?? Being a United FF with 300,000 + points... this is great news! Hope things stay the course for the future when we set a date!

  9. cam

    thrilled about the direct flight to ponta delgada! spent two lovely weeks there this summer and flew TAP J the long way out of newark connecting in lisbon, and then flew air azores back through boston connecting onto jet blue. having a direct flight will make visiting there much easier.

    if anyone's been considering a trip, i can't recommend it enough - it's like a european hawaii.

  10. SEM

    "That being said, United’s 757s don’t exactly have a great onboard product,"

    I laugh a little every time a read a statement like this. Now that the [admittedly] awful four across Legacy UA Business class product is gone, the Legacy CAL Business class product, gets called out for what it was/is [OLD]!

  11. Chris Galley

    Business Class: JFK-Europe on JetBlue and BA CityFlyer is from 850 USD on Priceline, dates like May, June, July. JFK-LGW/LGW-AMS 857 USD RT.

    BA ticket. Be quick.

  12. Brian-EWA

    BGO is exactly two weeks too late for me! Flying there at the beginning of May to catch a cruise and having to connect somewhere in Europe first.

  13. Andrew Willett

    324 is EWR below the keys on a keyboard or over the keys on an iPhone.

  14. Al

    If United is willing to send a 767 to palma de mallorca and a 787 to Amman they clearly don't expect international business travel to come back too soon

  15. david

    Shocked that this is how one United SVP put it:

    Quayle points out that the flight from Newark is akin to a domestic transcon, just 11 miles longer than a flight to San Francisco. More significantly, however, the type of traffic would not support the premium Polaris product. “It’s more of a VFR (visiting friends & relatives), backpacker, and ethnic traffic, so there’s not much demand for lie-flat seats.”

    1. Matt

      why shocking? sorry. perhaps i do not understand the context.

    2. Dick Bupkiss

      To me it's not shocking at all, in fact, I think United's assessment of passenger mix is spot-on. FWIW, I spent September there (PDL) and only recently returned, so have a fresh view.

      Few American tourists go there. Almost every tourist we saw was from mainland Portugal or other European countries (mostly Germans). I doubt this destination will ever be a major draw for American tourists (there's no "pretty" white-sand beaches, no party-hard scene, no...

      To me it's not shocking at all, in fact, I think United's assessment of passenger mix is spot-on. FWIW, I spent September there (PDL) and only recently returned, so have a fresh view.

      Few American tourists go there. Almost every tourist we saw was from mainland Portugal or other European countries (mostly Germans). I doubt this destination will ever be a major draw for American tourists (there's no "pretty" white-sand beaches, no party-hard scene, no chain hotels).

      The traffic that I saw, and what I would expect on this route in the future, is EXACTLY as described by United. Mostly family visits (there is a large Azorean expat community in parts of the US and Canada, and it seemed nearly every local we spoke with had family in the US or Canada). There were just a few backpacker types who don't care about fine-white-sand beaches, nightlife and other magnets for mass tourism (and virtually all of them we saw were also from Europe). United is absolutely right: there will be little demand for a good business class experience on this route.

      I loved the place and me and the wife are talking about a return trip, but when we go back, we will absolutely fly to Europe in a nice lay-flat seat, and will connect to PDL from the continent (that's what we did recently - and on our flight from LIS-PDL, we had the entire business class cabin to ourselves on a TAP A3320, so IME United seems to understand the demand very well). This is a route primarily for family members visiting here or there.

    3. Levi

      The Azorean expat community is largely centered in Southeastern New England (which is part of why there's already service between PDL and BOS). Considering that I doubt anyone is flying BOS-EWR-PDL over the nonstop, could UA be upgauging EWR-PVD from CRJ 550 to 737/A320 for feed (otherwise this could be a route where most of the feed is from Amtrak?).

  16. Icarus

    Now travel restrictions will be lifted, there’s going to be an upsurge in bookings. Travel to Asia is generally still difficult with a few exceptions, so many may look at transatlantic as an alternative.

  17. Mark B

    Really sad that LAX never gets any love from the Big Three.

    1. Brodie

      Right! We need some love out here.

  18. Charles

    The luggage lock was clearly 324, not 304.

    1. wpcoe

      You know, I wonder if they updated/corrected the video. I wrote down 304, and based on what I see now in the video I don't see how I would have done that. It's a big coincidence that both Lucky & I saw 203.

  19. monopod

    As usual, LAX got jack shit :/

    1. shoeguy

      There's really not much to add from LAX, specifically around TATL which, in the anticipation of continued weakness on TPAC, is the focus. LAX is very much a saturated market. Important. But saturated. No real compelling reason for UA to add anything long haul out LAX at the moment.

    2. Tomas

      If U.S. legacy is seeking to capitalize on seasonal, leisure-sun destinations into the Mediterranean, why not LAX nonstops? There would be demand LAX to DBV, ATH, PMI, IBZ.

      LAX nonstops into the Caribbean would work as well. AA used to fly LAX-SJU, LAX-MBJ but no more, except for the one-off. It’s a hassle to connect via the E.Coast.

    3. Brodie

      LAX-MBJ nonstop had shit flight times. Red eye there and early morning return. If they offered decent flight times the route would work well, at least in high season.

    4. WillMo

      Still waiting for the day that my home airport IBZ gets TATL service. Noticed a big increase in American tourists this past summer. Can't be too far away now that PMI has been added. Suffice to say I will do everything to get on the inaugural when it finally happens.

    5. Mangiafica

      Delta would suit an overnight 757 to IBZ from JFK. I've been saying it for years.

      Party Plane. Although the scene's not what it was 20 years ago.

    6. Jance

      Not just LAX, but the entire west coast. United is just not a major airline for anyone who lives west of Denver. :/

    7. John S

      Not true, look at United’s Dominance and numerous International services out of SFO

  20. GSNick

    EWR-PDL on a MAX-8 ugh :(
    Thats about ~2,200 n.miles

    1. Dick Bupkiss

      Yeah, that's a shame. I'll happily fly to PDL via mainland Europe in a better airframe.

    2. Klaus

      Haha…once you are in Europe you can decide to take TAPs A-320 or Lufthansa’s A-321 or Ryanair’s 737 to fly to PDL.

    3. Klaus

      Haha…once you are in Europe you can decide whether to take TAPs A-320 or Lufthansa’s A-321 or Ryanair’s 737 to fly to PDL.

    4. David

      I flew a Lufthansa A-321 last week. Awful hard product. Nothing I would rush back to.

    5. Jason

      it's like a flight to the west coast, which is very frequently operated by a narrow body aircraft. Why the ugh? would you rather have the flight or not at all? This route is exactly what the MAX-8 is made for. United probably wouldnt fly it without this plane.

  21. David

    "The Amman route seems like it’s primarily motivated by government traffic, both given the origin in Washington" Not in the immediate future. AA has the government contract fare between DC and AMM to the end of September 2022.

    1. DCA Will Always Be “National”

      True, but it likely accounts for government contractors who can generally choose any airline. And they may make up a much larger portion of UA’s target market.

  22. Rich

    Any idea when the AMM flight will go on sale? I just looked and it didn’t seem to be available yet.

  23. GERMAN

    Knowing the Iberian Market I am cautious about the new destinations. PMI might have some attraction as a summer destination and it is located close to Ibiza, one of the main party destinations. TFS, I doubt it will work.
    On the other side, Delta used to operate Malaga direct flight from JFK. This service was also supported by some public institutions aid to promote Malaga as a destination for americans. This service was closed on 2019 and it was operated with B757.

  24. pstm91

    Apparently United considers the general population a bunch of Sherlock Holmes' with some of those clues lol.

    I'm actually find their additions to be pretty underwhelming, but it's nice to have nonstop service to Amman. The only other one I really like is Bergen, which is one of my all-time favorite cities (really a large town).

  25. Anthony

    Hyatt just bought hotels in Mallorca / Tenerife. Demand for new beach destinations is off the charts. I could see the flights to those islands working, especially if Americans can tack on flights to the continent after

    1. Evan

      What is the new Hyatt property in Mallorca? The PH was dropped last year.

  26. Kevin

    The Dulles to Berlin flight will be operated by a 767-400ER, not the 767-300 as states in your article

  27. Joelfreak

    Some of the connection possibilities for *A are interesting. If the routing doesn't forbid it, this now makes for some odd backdoor ways into the EU, and hopefully Asia if the Asian carriers come back into AMM.

  28. dfw88

    While I like the other adds, I'm incredibly skeptical of Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife. Those are vacation hotspots, sure, but for Europeans. I don't believe they get much American traffic. It will be interesting to see if UA can make them work, though 3x weekly certainly helps.

    1. Dick Bupkiss

      You are absolutely right. Americans, try telling your friends you are headed off to Mallorca or the Canary Islands. Enjoy their reactions ("umm...where?" "why?"). Yes, northern Europeans love to lay in the sun and will continue to flock to these places, but not via Newark.

    2. Matt

      Tenerife is a shorter flight than Hawaii from the east coast and most of the Midwest. Canaries have everything you could want in an island vacation, plus it is significantly cheaper than Hawaii, or even mainland Spain. I loved my visit there a few years ago-- especially the northern end of the island.

    3. Brodie

      Mallorca to EWR showing some saver availability. Not seeing shit on other routes in June 2022.

    4. 305

      Many Americans love going to Mallorca/Ibiza now in the summers. It's mostly young people going for the clubs/parties. Feel like that route might do well actually.

    5. Douglas Frost DeNunzio

      May want to go to Italy in the summer time!

    6. Douglas Frost DeNunzio

      May want to go the beach!

    7. DC

      I can't imagine flying to Mallorca is much different than flying to Hawaii from EWR. Mallorca is a great place too it more or less feel like Hawaii but slightly less tropical. If you want to party you can stay in Palma but if yo want to relax the east side is perfect.

Featured Comments Load all 56 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.

Dick Bupkiss

To me it's not shocking at all, in fact, I think United's assessment of passenger mix is spot-on. FWIW, I spent September there (PDL) and only recently returned, so have a fresh view. Few American tourists go there. Almost every tourist we saw was from mainland Portugal or other European countries (mostly Germans). I doubt this destination will ever be a major draw for American tourists (there's no "pretty" white-sand beaches, no party-hard scene, no chain hotels). The traffic that I saw, and what I would expect on this route in the future, is EXACTLY as described by United. Mostly family visits (there is a large Azorean expat community in parts of the US and Canada, and it seemed nearly every local we spoke with had family in the US or Canada). There were just a few backpacker types who don't care about fine-white-sand beaches, nightlife and other magnets for mass tourism (and virtually all of them we saw were also from Europe). United is absolutely right: there will be little demand for a good business class experience on this route. I loved the place and me and the wife are talking about a return trip, but when we go back, we will absolutely fly to Europe in a nice lay-flat seat, and will connect to PDL from the continent (that's what we did recently - and on our flight from LIS-PDL, we had the entire business class cabin to ourselves on a TAP A3320, so IME United seems to understand the demand very well). This is a route primarily for family members visiting here or there.

Expanding Thinking

Any (new) routes to Africa?

Mangiafica

Delta would suit an overnight 757 to IBZ from JFK. I've been saying it for years. Party Plane. Although the scene's not what it was 20 years ago.

Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT