United Announces New Routes To Europe, Including To Iceland

Filed Under: United

A few weeks ago American announced new seasonal routes from Philadelphia to Budapest, Philadelphia to Prague, and Chicago to Venice. Today it’s United’s turn to announce some new seasonal routes to Europe for summer 2018.

Today United has announced four new transatlantic routes, including two to destinations that they don’t presently serve. Specifically, United has announced the following routes:

  • Newark to Porto
  • Newark to Reykjavik
  • San Francisco to Zurich
  • Washington to Edinburgh

Here are the details of all these new flights, which are already available for purchase:

Newark to Porto

United will operate a daily Boeing 757-200 flight between Newark and Porto between May 4 and October 4, 2018. The schedule will be as follows:

Newark to Porto departing 9:45PM arriving 9:50AM (+1 day)
Porto to Newark departing 12:35PM arriving 1:35PM

Newark to Reykjavik

United will operate a daily Boeing 757-200 flight between Newark and Reykjavik between May 23 and October 4, 2018. The schedule will be as follows:

Newark to Reykjavik departing 10:30PM arriving 8:10AM (+1 day)
Reykjavik to Newark departing 11:55AM arriving 2:05PM

San Francisco to Zurich

United will operate a daily Boeing 787-8 flight between San Francisco and Zurich between June 7 and October 26, 2018. The schedule will be as follows:

San Francisco to Zurich departing 2:10PM arriving 10:10AM (+1 day)
Zurich to San Francisco departing 9:50AM arriving 12:40PM

Washington to Edinburgh

United will operate a daily Boeing 757-200 flight between Washington and Edinburgh between May 23 and October 4, 2018. The schedule will be as follows:

Washington to Edinburgh departing 10:10PM arriving 10:25AM (+1 day)
Edinburgh to Washington departing 12:40PM arriving 3:40PM

United is extending other seasonal routes as well

In addition to the above, United has extended the service windows for a few other transatlantic flights, as follows:

  • Chicago to Edinburgh will operate between May 4 and October 26, 2018
  • San Francisco to Munich will operate between May 4 and October 26, 2018
  • Chicago to Dublin will operate between April 9 and October 26, 2018
  • Washington to Lisbon will operate between April 9 and October 26, 2018

Award availability on these new flights

All of these routes are already bookable, though United hasn’t made all that much award space available. I see a few random dates with some seats (more in economy than business), but overall the amount of award availability is disappointing, given that these flights were just loaded. Hopefully United will make more award space available on these routes over the coming days and weeks.

Bottom line

I love seeing airlines not just add new routes, but also add new destinations. While additional frequencies to Zurich and Edinburgh are nice, it’s even more exciting to see United add flights to Porto and Reykjavik, which they haven’t previously served.

United’s international growth lately is super impressive. In terms of international expansion, keep in mind that United is also adding flights from Los Angeles to Singapore and Houston to Sydney, which will be the two longest routes offered by US airlines.

What do you make of United’s new seasonal flights to Europe?

(Tip of the hat to Live and Let’s Fly)

  1. It’s so sad to see how the ME3 are destroying the heroic US airlines’ international networks and driving them toward bankruptcy. I sure hope the government acts soon.

  2. these are certainly a lot more exciting than watching AA cancel JFK-ZRH and force move it down to PHL, or DL who can’t get anything done without a JV or equity investment.

  3. Curious to see how UA does even with seasonal service to Zurich. As I understood it, the current SFO-ZUR flights served by Swiss’ “Roche Coach” are subsidized because of the pharmaceutical’s presence in South San Francisco needing a non-stop back to company headquarters and are generally not turning a profit. Plus, they’re both *A with no other direct competition. Doesn’t this seem counterintuitive?

  4. @AdamR – if UA didnt think they’d make money on it, they wouldnt fly it. Period. Plus, they have full immunity and revenue sharing with LX. They definitely worked with LX to make this happen. UA doesnt just fly flights for the fun of it – they do it if they think they will make money. If it doesnt come back in 2019, that’ll tell us they didnt make money.

  5. @Jason – Given the recent reversal on Basic Economy, I’m not sure UA’s making the most informed decisions at the moment. 😉 But I hear ya. Still seems peculiar, though. We shall see in CY19, I guess.

  6. I’m more curious why United is leaving a 788 on the ground in Zurich for 23hours 40 minutes? The outbound Zurich flight departs 20 minutes before the flight from SFO arrives.

  7. @Phil – the arrival from San Francisco probably turns another flight, like Washington. The IAD flight arrives early in the morning, so that inbound from Dulles makes up the San Francisco departure. And the inbound from San Francisco makes up the Dulles departure. This is likely, given that UA has announced that it’s moving 788s to Dulles from Houston. So they’re not leaving a plane in Zurich for a day. this is just an efficient movement of airplanes.

  8. @Jason I hope that’s the case, was just curious since they haven’t loaded or announced an equipment swap yet for the IAD or EWR flights yet, and they’re still showing the 763/4s on the east coast routes for that time period. I’m sure it’ll update as we get closer.

  9. Hopefully UA has an agreement with local police in Iceland already, got to know how to pull people from planes that agrees with local regulations…

  10. The fact is that United has the best international route network of the US airlines. It will be a massive improvement and extremely impressive network once the new Polaris seats are installed, but those need to be installed on all the 787s and not just new deliveries and 77WS. Crossing fingers for installs going faster than planned…but not holding my breath.

  11. @George

    Portuenses with an “s” for more than one. Portuense when it’s one person. Just a small portuguese class 🙂

  12. Doesn’t Wow fly out of Newark? It’s gotta be like half the price of United; is there that much pent up demand to Iceland? I was there in June but the country wasn’t that hopping…

  13. They are also axing services. We lose our daily antique 757 rotation Newark to BHX in October. Use it or lose it, sez UA.

  14. I’m surprised to see United adding two months to the DC to Lisbon seasonal service but not doing the same for their DC to Madrid seasonal service. Every time I ride that DC to Madrid flight early in the season, it is packed. I’m also wondering why United doesn’t operate a DC to Madrid to Barcelona flight in the off season.

  15. So where will these fit on the Polaris roadmap? I’m not familiar with United’s current biz class – how do these 4 routes compare?

  16. All good routes. Ps UA has not yet added a South West link to their basic economy fare box, as I’ve asked.

  17. 1. I first sat on the AA 64/65 JFK-ZRH flights uh 20+ years ago. Same antique 767 since then. Every year I kept asking: gonna ever put a newer aircraft on this route?

    2. Reykjavik is an odd one. WOWAir presently seems to be offering the cheapest-ever NYC flights to TLV via KEF ($138 ow). And aside from WOWAir there are so many cheap flights to Iceland now (hello WizzAir) how does anyone expect to make any money on this route? And moreover where are all these budget tourists going to stay in notoriously-expensive Iceland? Though I guess I must have said the same thing about Norwegian. Maybe as some have speculated Norwegian won’t be around next summer, so there’s that…

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