United Airlines has today announced plans to add three new seasonal long haul international routes, to Croatia, Greece, and Iceland. Croatia, Greece, and Iceland are all already open to vaccinated Americans, so these additions make sense.
United’s three new international routes for the summer of 2021
United adds Newark to Dubrovnik route
United Airlines will offer 3x weekly flights between Newark (EWR) and Dubrovnik (DBV).
The ~4,500 mile flight will operate from July 8 through October 3, 2021, with eastbound service on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and westbound service on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The route will operate with the following schedule:
UA385 Newark to Dubrovnik departing 7:20PM arriving 10:15AM (+1 day)
UA386 Dubrovnik to Newark departing 12:15PM arriving 4:25PM
The flight is blocked at 8hr55min eastbound and 10hr10min westbound.
This will be United’s only service to Croatia this summer.
United will use a Boeing 767-300 for the route, featuring 214 seats, including 30 business class seats, 49 extra legroom economy seats, and 135 economy seats. Note that while this won’t be operated by United’s “premium” 767-300, the route should still feature United’s new Polaris seats.
United’s 767-300 economy cabin
United adds Washington to Athens route
United Airlines will offer daily flights between Washington (IAD) and Athens (ATH).
The ~5,200 mile flight will operate from July 1 through October 3, 2021. The route will operate with the following schedule:
UA982 Washington to Athens departing 5:35PM arriving 10:20AM (+1 day)
UA983 Athens to Washington departing 12:05PM arriving 4:05PM
The flight is blocked at 9hr45min eastbound and 11hr westbound.
This will be United’s second route to Greece, as the airline also offers service out of Newark.
United will use a reconfigured Boeing 787-8 for the route, featuring 243 seats, including 28 business class seats (including new Polaris seats), 21 premium economy seats, 36 extra legroom economy seats, and 158 economy seats.
United’s 787 Polaris business class
United adds Chicago to Reykjavik route
United Airlines will offer daily flights between Chicago (ORD) and Reykjavik (KEF).
The ~3,000 mile flight will operate from July 1 through October 3, 2021. The route will operate with the following schedule:
UA912 Chicago to Keflavik departing 7:45PM arriving 7:00AM (+1 day)
UA913 Keflavik to Chicago departing 11:00AM arriving 12:45PM
The flight is blocked at 6hr15min eastbound and 6hr45min westbound.
This will be United’s second route to Iceland, as the airline also offers service out of Newark.
United will use a Boeing 757-200 for the route, featuring 169 seats, including 16 business class seats, 45 extra legroom economy seats, and 108 economy seats.
United will use 757s for both Iceland routes
Airlines have had to completely change their approach to route planning, making changes last minute based on travel restrictions. Most of the capacity we’ve seen airlines add has been in short haul markets, so it’s fantastic to see the pace at which United is responding to demand in long haul markets as well.
With talk of more European countries (like France) opening to Americans, I’m curious how many more last minute transatlantic route additions we see.
What do you make of United’s three new long haul routes?
Wow, offering a ten-hour flight in a rickety old 767 for a bit of sun on the Adriatic. Very appealing. I'm happy they are not using a DC3 on this route!...
1) why are they starting so late?? why not May, at least June?
2) Why Dubrovnik and not Split? Split has the beaches, access to the islands (Hvar, Brac), and Ultra Europe festival week is in Split
still, impressive and awesome that Polaris seats are offered.
Out of curiosity, I just flew a 787-10 Polaris single seat (3A) and found it tight to get in and out. I am not fat, 6' tall, 180 lbs, and I had to go sideways in and out of the opening to get to the seat. Not an issue but waking during the night, I did have to "think" about it. How are larger people dealing with the access? Preparing a trip with a colleague soon and I really don't want to book the middle row for myself.
Surprised they aren't starting them in May or June, with so many people itching to travel.
Poor Croatia, so very, very over-touristed.
Looks like the flights are offered till October, not August.
The question is when will the US open their borders to reciprocate?
With all the international routes planned for this summer, wonder when we will see the Polaris Lounges start to reopen?
I wonder if AA will react. They were the only operator from the US to Croatia launching in 2019, but they cancelled their PHL to Dubrovnik route indefinitely before Summer 2020.
There's tons of pent-up travel demand out there. Curious if people will use it going to Europe or if they'll stick to domestic destinations. Several of my childless friends are already planning a Croatia trip this summer
Surprising to see UA use the 767-300ER on EWR-ATH and the 787-8 on IAD-ATH. UA has used the 767-400ER on EWR-ATH in the past. For operational simplicity, would it not make sense to use 787s or 777s on these routes (or align with 787-8s together).
DBV will likely operate on a Polaris-equipped 763. There's only two frames left with the sCO configuration, and one just entered HKG for Polaris mod.
The seat map always shows the sCO configuration until the aircraft is routed 48-72 hours prior to departure. I assume this logic will change once all 763s have Polaris.
@aaron by having service from July - August, it thus infers that it is seasonal
So these are all seasonal routes (for now)?
Great adds... at the moment there is only 1 763 with the old (non-Polaris) seats, and that’s due to be reconfigured, so even though the map shows the old configuration, by far the most likely customer experience will be the new seat (just the 30J layout with no Premium Plus).
Very smart adds.
Hopefully by next summer the croatia service will become daily.
United has always been the leader in adding innovative routes. Props to them because they seem to be spot on with many (such as SFO-Tel Aviv, Tahiti, EWR-Cape Town)
I am surprised the airline is choosing the 767 over the 787 because I can’t believe all of United’s 787-8’s will be used this summer