We’ve seen airlines cancel many flights to mainland China, Hong Kong, and now even South Korea.
United had already canceled mainland China & Hong Kong flights
However, given the overall reduction in demand, United is now reducing their Asia flying even further, through a combination of route cancelations, service reductions, and plane downgrades.
Three routes to Tokyo Narita being suspended
United Airlines is suspending three of their routes to Tokyo Narita this spring:
- Houston to Tokyo Narita is being suspended March 8 through April 27, 2020
- Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita is being suspended March 8 through April 27, 2020
- Chicago to Tokyo Narita is being suspended March 8 through March 27, 2020 (then as of March 28 the route switches to Tokyo Haneda)
On top of that, United is reducing frequencies on one route:
- Newark to Tokyo Narita is being reduced from daily to 5x weekly March 28 through April 24, 2020
Lastly, United is downgrading one route to Tokyo Narita:
- Honolulu to Tokyo Narita will be downgraded from a 777-200 to a 787-8 April 1 through April 30, 2020
All of United Airlines’ Haneda services remain unaffected by these changes. This includes the new Haneda services starting on March 28, from Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, and Washington.
United Airlines is greatly reducing Tokyo Narita flying
Seoul flights being reduced
United Airlines ordinarily flies once daily from San Francisco to Seoul, and in April the route was supposed to have 12x weekly frequencies. Now United will operate 3x weekly flights in the market from March 8 through April 24, 2020.
United is cutting back frequencies to Seoul Incheon
Singapore flights being reduced
United Airlines flies twice daily between San Francisco and Singapore. From March 8 through April 24, 2020, United Airlines will be reducing the route to once daily.
United is halving service to Singapore
Osaka flights being reduced
United Airlines will reduce operations between San Francisco and Osaka. From March 28 through April 24, 2020, United will operate 5x weekly flights rather than daily flights.
Taipei flights being downgraded
While United Airlines will maintain their frequencies to Taipei, from March 1 through April 30, 2020, United will downgrade flights on this route from a 777-300ER to a 787-9.
It’s not surprising to see United significantly scale back flying to Asia as a result of reduced demand. Even for destinations not directly impacted by coronavirus all that much, demand has still fallen off significantly.
My goodness, United is going to have a lot of spare wide body planes this spring. United Airlines is by far the strongest US airline in Asia, so they’ll likely also be hardest hit by this situation among the “big three” US carriers.
I suspect United won’t be alone in greatly cutting back flights to Japan, Singapore, etc.
What do you make of United Airlines’ Asia service reductions?