United Airlines To Make “Historic” Route Announcement Tomorrow

Filed Under: United

As noted on airliners.net, United has issued a media advisory that Oscar Munoz will make a “historic route announcement” tomorrow at 11AM CT:

United Airlines CEO to Make Historic Route Announcement Tomorrow

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz will host a media conference call tomorrow to discuss an historic package of new and expanded international routes and talk about how they are a capstone to a breakthrough year for United.

That sure sounds exciting. It sounds like it might not just be a single route, but rather a few routes, based on how it’s phrased (or it could be that there’s one main addition, and then some other minor adjustments).

While I have no clue, my general thought is that United is more willing to try ultra longhaul flights than other US carriers (they fly Houston to Sydney and also San Francisco to Singapore, which are the two longest routes operated by US airlines). They also don’t currently fly to Africa, which seems like it would be “historic.”

Does anyone want to take a guess? Feel free to place your bets below!

  1. Don’t know why but when I first saw the headline I instantly thought of their pacific hubs (Guam and Honolulu).

  2. So have a few ideas:
    DEN-AMS (was locally hearing rumors of this in DEN right before DEN-FRA was announced)
    ORD-SYD (not much further than LHR-PER)

    Increasing US to FRA frequencies (it is crazy that IAH and EWR only have one per day)

  3. I’m surprised more people aren’t guessing expanded service to India from Chicago, DC, and/or Houston given how insanely priced the Newark flights have been lately. An Africa route also seems like a good bet to me.

  4. Hopefully Ord to Syd pls!!!!!

    Surely something like Denver to Frankfurt wouldn’t be that historic or exciting 🙂

    Wife and kids did Ord to akl last week. Such a benefit to us to be direct and overnight!!!

  5. I’m thinking:
    or maybe EWR-HRE

    Just kidding. But seriously, are any of these guesses based on actual facts or evidence?

  6. The way I initially read it made me wonder if “package” meant creating a new hub or expanding a focus city into a hub.

  7. Hoping this is the EWR-GIG flight so many of us have been waiting for, and which would seem to make so much sense.

  8. @Brad B they have a JV with Lufthansa. Look at the # of frequencies between NY (JFK/EWR) and FRA on both UA/LH … IIRC it’s like 5-6x/day.

  9. I’ve been waiting for years to see UA offer IAD-JNB or EWR-JNB….and finally compete with always going bankrupt South African and with Delta’s very profitable ATL-JNB.

    I’d also love to see more nonstop international service from LAX to Europe. Like LAX-CDG. Or perhaps even LAX-TLV to compete with El Al.

  10. Reimagining of IAD. New terminal (UA funded, ala DL), 10 new routes in next 18 months, Polaris lounge at existing C/D (already leaked). MWAA board meeting is tomorrow…

  11. Historic makes me think its a route not served previously. Exciting might mean longer (e.g. AKL, MEL, DXB, DEL) or new connectivity (e.g. DEN).

    What I’m feeling is more like a fifth freedom SFO-GUM-LAX / HKG / MNL

  12. Newark or DC to JNB would make perfect sense. They have SAA waiting on the other end to connect passengers, and UA has the more profitable aircraft to operate these routes (787 vs A340). Houston/Chicago to India would also be pretty sensible

  13. LAX-MLE
    They recently added LAX-PPT, and this would be a natural addition to another once in a lifetime destination.

  14. SFO-FCO would be my first guess.

    Of course, it would be great if they would announce expansion into India and/or Africa from the West Coast!

  15. My guess is it won’t be a new route at all, but an existing route on which the begin providing decent customer service.

  16. While there are many routes I would consider “interesting” (EWR-JNB), there are very few I would consider “historic”. The only one that comes to mind would be XXX-SGN, as I’m not sure the last time a US carrier operated service to Vietnam.

  17. My wish is HKG-LAX, hopefully redeye flights both ways, to better utilize their 1 (going to be 2) 777-300ERs sitting in HKG for some 16 hrs every night.

  18. EWR-AKL – First nonstop from East Coast to Oceania? Would qualify as historic. Maybe EWR – Istanbul new airport. Would be the first US airline to return service to Turkey and first US based airline with service to their new airport.

  19. @UA869 I been on UA869 and UA862 too many time that I lost track. I quit flying that route because because of 10 across on a 777. Too tight so I took my business elsewhere.

    Anyway, I did thought of LAX to HKG but that market is too full for another route. Three Cathay Pacific routes, American Airline (AA193) and Hong Kong Airline(HX69). I do like AA193 redeyes because I get to HKG in the morning but I dont like AA due to their rolling delays.

  20. I don’t know but I am about done with United after being a 1K for 15 years. My Global Upgrades are worthless. I wrote to Mr. Munoz when I donated miles for charity in honor of him on 11/27/18 and didn’t even get an automated response. Alaska Airlines has treated me MUCH better in the last few years. If this is an inappropriate post, please delete it and/or don’t allow it to be posted. Ben, I will still follow OMMAAT as I think you have great info!!! Merry Christmas.

  21. 1) Thai doesn’t serve SFO so SFO-BKK would be wise.
    2) Air Italy (aka Meridiana on behalf of Qatar) recently announced MXP – SFO & MXP – LAX, so perhaps SFO-FCO or MXP.
    3) Returning the Round The World UA1/2 routes
    4) SFO-GUM
    5) LAX-FRA
    6) SAA is a failing airline so maybe JNB
    7) Expanded INTL service from LAX with upcoming TBIT Phase 2 opening next year.
    8) Return to IST with opening of new airport ?
    9) FNJ – SFO !

  22. ORD-SYD isn’t going to happen.

    The QF 787 that does PER-LHR is less densely configured than any of UA’s current 787s – they simply don’t have the range.

  23. Something historic would be a flight from th US to Vietnam, but they did that with SFO to SGN with a stopover in HKG and that proved to be unsuccessful due to competition with cheaper fares from other Asian airlines.

    I think a more profitable route would be from LAX to SGN.

  24. Read the wording of the media statement! Its a “Historic Package of new and expanded international routes”. It’s not a historic route, its the package that’s going to be historic!
    Oviously they are going to announce a lot of new routes and increased services.

    Highly likely will be increased services to Australia and New Zealand, probably LAX or SFO to Brisbane. Slots at Sydney are hard to get so may look at other Australian cities.

    Maybe ORD to AKL.
    787 can’t do ORD to East Coast Australia at moment.

    Rumors around in Australia that they may start Sydney to Seattle service.

  25. I would love SFO-BOM/DEL, EWR-JNB, and SFO-GRU year round, and EWR-CPT and SFO-GIG seasonal.

    It is quite difficult to get to Africa or South America from the west coast on United!

  26. Anybody who thinks SFO-SGN over SFO-BKK is crazy. BKK is a *A hub, and is one of the largest airports in the world. SGN is a flyspeck. There are zero direct flights from USA to BKK. SFO has more of a United presence than LAX, so I doubt they would choose LAX over SFO. There is already EWR-SIN, and SFO-BKK is much more technically feasible than EWR-SIN. The only other logical possiblity to SE Asia is ORD-BKK or maybe EWR-BKK, but both of those would probably require crazy configurations like the Singapore Airlines EWR-SIN with only premium economy and biz. I guess they could be announcing something either uninspiring or off the radar, but if I were a betting man, and I am, I’d go with SFO-BKK.

    Personally though I’d still rather fly Cathay JAL or ANA with a layover than United, but I’m still happy if they add capacity.

  27. Widebody service from ORD to Louisville, to ensure there are seats for everyone, so no one needs to be dragged off?

  28. Manila has been rumored for a while now, and given the fact UA just moved to a new terminal there… one is left to wonder. But Africa would be historic. We shall find out soon. But the amount of flight attendants they have moved and added to SFO, BOS, and ORD has me only looking there.

  29. I’m thinking it may well be ORD SYD to beat QF to it, they were pitching that route not long ago – I’m not sure if EWR SYD is capable BUT…..

  30. Gotta be BKK and JNB. Ton of demand and no direct flights. Thai doesn’t look close to getting back in again so a JV with UA would make sense

  31. HKG-HNL
    or Hong Kong as a new hub in asia to strengthen their network by adding routes to HNL, IAH, IAD, DEN and maybe reinstating their fifth freedom HKG-SIN route

  32. Surely JNB or ADD with both being *Alliance hubs thus offering connections on the other end. BKK tends to be a low yielding leisure destination and can be easily reached via Singapore or Hongkong with partner Thai Airways so i doubt UA will throw its hat there.

  33. Maybe its an aquisition.. Flybe perhaps?.. ;))

    EWR SOU & ORD NWI have been a long time coming… everyone knows that.

  34. I’m with @Mfb123 – to be truly “historic” it would, IMHO, be actually unique and not just interesting or very useful. However, given the penchant for corporate marketing types to fall into wild hyperbole, I’m guessing their definition of “historic” will fall short of mine!

    UA has flown to Africa previously (ACC and LOS at least most recently) though I don’t think they went to JNB.

  35. CPT… there is an Air Access department in the Western Cape Government that has been pushing hard for a direct US route

  36. I guess I have a different definition of “historic” than Oscar’s.

    Dec 12 (Reuters) – United Continental Holdings Inc said on Wednesday it would add flights to New Delhi, Toronto and Melbourne from San Francisco, as the No. 3 U.S. airline looks to tap higher-paying international routes.

    The airline also plans to start a second daily flight between San Francisco and Seoul as well as new year-round nonstop flights between the U.S. city and Auckland, Tahiti and Amsterdam in 2019.

  37. I suspect this “historic” news will be a letdown, much like “enhancements”.

    What I would consider historic but so unlikely that it’s impossible are:
    1. Return to JFK with flights to SFO, LAX, LHR.
    2. Return of something similar to Pan Am’s round the world service. UA could start same plane service SYD-SFO-IAD-LHR-SIN-SYD. Or AKL-SFO-LHR-SIN-AKL. Or ORD-LHR-BOM-ORD.

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