United Adds Exotic Destinations For Next Summer

United

It’s that time of year again when airlines start revealing their plans for summer 2022, and United has again taken this to a whole new level with teaser videos, contests, and more. This year’s teaser was harder than last, and if you’re like me, it may have driven you mad. If you didn’t see it, here it is.

There are a ton of clues in there, but there are also an incredible number of mis-directions. The good news is that you do not have to torture yourself, because I have answers. United today is announcing 5 new destinations, 3 new routes to existing destinations, and 7 route plans that were abandoned during COVID. Oh, and yes, there are 3 routes that are gone for good, rest in peace.

Three New Island Destinations

The five new destinations are all over the Atlantic, but only two of them get all the way across to a continent on the other side. Don’t worry, United isn’t ditching airplanes into the ocean. It’s just flying to three islands in the Atlantic, all from Newark.

  • Newark – Palma de Mallorca 3x weekly on a 767-300ER starts June 2
  • Newark – Ponta Delgada (Azores) 1x daily on a 737 MAX 8 starts May 13
  • Newark – Tenerife/South 3x weekly on a 757-200 starts June 9

These routes are a mix of leisure and visiting friends/relatives with on obvious focus on US-origin leisure. Mallorca is a huge destination for Europeans, but it’s nothing for Americans. This route probably has the most to lose being flown by the biggest aircraft and being the furthest flight of the three. It’s also the most pure leisure destination in the mix.

Tenerife is a real swing in the dark since nobody has flown that from the US in ages. It’s again a popular place for Europeans, so United must be hoping it can get at least some Americans to give it a shot.

The Ponta Delgada flight is particularly interesting. Delta ran that in the summer of 2019, but it isn’t back in the schedule. United will try this one with the MAX 8, which is a smart play. It is not a long flight, only about the same distance as flying to San Francisco from Newark. The MAX is just hugely fuel efficient, so maybe it works out.

If this does work, United has real opportunity to branch out into other islands. I understand the dotted lines below are next on the list.

Maps generated by the Great Circle Mapper – copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Two More New Cities with One Thing In Common: Tourism

On top of the island destinations, United will fly to two other new cities, one in Europe (also in the map above) and the other in the Middle East.

  • Newark – Bergen 3x weekly on a 757-200 starts May 20
  • Washington/Dulles – Amman 3x weekly on a 787-8 starts May 5

Bergen is quite the move since United doesn’t even fly to Oslo. But then again, Oslo is the political and business capital. Bergen is all about tourism. There’s big cruise business that touches Bergen, and there’s also a general outdoorsy play in the region, as I understand it.

Amman, on the other hand, is the political center of Jordan and that will do wonders for those needing to go back and forth between capitals. But Amman is also tourism opportunity in a place that’s not generally easy for Americans to visit by air. Royal Jordanian is the only airline to fly there from the US, and it doesn’t make it easy for travelers. It is catered more toward the Jordanian crowd. Meanwhile, you can connect there via Europe, but that makes for a two-stop journey for much of the US. This will create an easier single stop option.

Oh, and fun fact…, the outbound flight to Amman will be flight 525 which commemorates Jordan’s Independence Day on May 25, 1946.

Three New Routes Connect Existing Dots

In addition to the new destinations, United will also be connecting the dots between three existing destinations.

  • Chicago/O’Hare – Milan/Malpensa 1x daily on 787-8 starts May 6
  • Denver – Munich 1x daily on a 787-9 starts April 23
  • Washington/Dulles – Berlin 1x daily on a 767-300ER starts May 6

The obvious no-brainer here is Denver – Munich, connecting United and Lufthansa hubs which seem able to absorb an incredible amount of capacity. That flight from Denver, by the way, is flight 760 named after the BMW M760i xDrive sedan. That one feels like a stretch, but then again, if this is a big route for BMW corporate, that might be a nice play for the business.

Washington/Dulles – Berlin would seem to fall into a similar category as Amman in the sense that it’s capital to capital service, but Berlin generally does very poorly over the Atlantic. Both Delta and United fly it from JFK and Newark respectively, at least during the summer.

Lastly, Chicago – Milan isn’t a bad one to try. That flight will complement service from other hubs as well as from Chicago to Rome. But is there really going to be enough traffic next summer to justify it? If enough people want to go to Lake Como…. This one, for the record, returns as flight 415 which so happens to be Leonardo Da Vinci’s birthday in 1452.

Odds and Ends

But wait, there’s more. Newark gets a second daily summer frequency to both Dublin (from April 23, flight 317 for, well, St Patrick’s Day) and Rome (from May 26, flight 510 for the year the Roman Republic was founded, BC). This will also mark the official return of plans that were previously in place until the pandemic interrupted them.

  • Chicago/O’Hare – Zurich will start April 23
  • Los Angeles – Tokyo/Haneda will start by March 26
  • Newark – Frankfurt second daily will start April 23
  • Newark – Nice will start April 29
  • Newark – Tokyo/Haneda will start by March 26
  • San Francisco – Bangalore will start May 26
  • Washington/Dulles – Tokyo/Haneda will start by March 26

The End of the Line

There are three routes that haven’t been flying lately, but it wasn’t clear if they’d return. It is now confirmed that they will not, at least not anytime soon.

  • Newark – Glasgow
  • Newark – Manchester
  • San Francisco – Dublin

Glasgow can be served via Edinburgh which is very close and generally more of interest to the US-based tourist crowd, Manchester just doesn’t have enough US origin traffic to work for an American carrier, and Dublin is served through multiple hubs already. That San Francisco flight was just a stretch too far with a second Newark flight seeming to make more sense.

Thinking Through Strategy

All of these moves seem to follow along with United’s recent strategy to serve leisure and VFR markets more. That’s always a good bet in the summer when business travel falls, but it’s especially true now when the business travel recovery timing is very uncertain.

The focus on the Atlantic is no coincidence. It is highly unlikely that borders between the US and Europe will close again, so next summer should be much better than this one. Asia is still further off from a real reopening across the board, and it’s too far to reach with some of United’s smaller airplanes anyway. There’s no reason to take that risk next summer. There isn’t any Latin America here, but that could be because United thinks it’s overheated. There has been enormous capacity growth in the Latin, and United may be expecting some of that traffic to redirect toward Europe next year.

United will mostly rely on the power of its Newark hub to push into small destinations in order to try to develop them. I will be shocked if all of these routes work out in the end, but there opportunity cost is low right now. United is taking a swing at this, and if even a handful workout, it’ll be a victory.

39 comments on “United Adds Exotic Destinations For Next Summer

  1. 1. No mention of BOS-LHR?! (Unless I missed it, in which case I apologize.)

    2. With a bunch of little European destinations like this, does this mean they’ll be trying to build more connectivity through EWR to actually fill these planes?

    1. Emac – No mention of BOS-LHR, but I’m told it’s still happening. Just not in this announcement.

      As for connectivity, this really isn’t a lot of seats, so I imagine the connectivity they have is sufficient. But it does need to rely on connectivity for sure.

  2. WN’s operation is imploding… DL is distracted with things like creating a “just safety culture,” and AA is, well, AA.

    Meanwhile, UA continues its run to the top.

    1. I would be surprised if we didn’t see AA respond and add back some the leisure flying it cut (i.e. DBV).

      1. A–

        By itself, it’s not.

        Taking everything else into account, no one else comes close. Maybe DL at a distant 2nd.

        1. United is a great company, but your hyperbole is a bit amusing this morning.

          They’re some cool new routes, for sure, but adding a bunch of leisure flights to Bergen, a OW hub, Mallorca, and then LH hubs isn’t exactly running to the top? If anything, it just shows they don’t have much else to do with all the widebodies that should be flying to Asia out of SFO next summer.

          What else are they doing?

          1. Julie,
            you and are on the same page today!

            It will be interesting to see what AA and DL do next summer but I don’t think we will see this level of new market vs. restored market capacity.

            1. Tim and Julie,

              You both raise good points at times. We all see things from different perspectives. This would be a very boring world if everyone agreed about everything. It should be interesting to see what happens with Delta and American. I’m hoping all the airlines will be well on the road to recovery by early next year. Delta just reported a really nice quarter. That’s a good start.

          2. Julie—

            Hyperbole would’ve been if I wrote the sort of love letter we normally see about DL on here.

            100% agree that this route announcement alone does not a turnaround make. But it’s become increasingly clear over the pandemic-and especially in the last 4 to 6 mos.- that Kirby and his team hitting all the marks.

            They’ve been the most realistic on predicting traffic returns, pivoted their WB’s to cargo quickly, got Union buy in on vax mandates and more.

            Also: no operational meltdowns.

            Not perfect of course (see:Polaris), but they’ve navigated this pandemic much better than I think many people thought they would, myself included.

            1. Please post the guidance for each airline (you can stick with the big 4) and whether they achieved it or not.

              In case you missed it, United was expecting to be profitable for the 3rd quarter and changed their guidance to no longer expect that.

              As for operations, there are multiple days this year where United has cancelled both a higher number of flights (harder to do since they are the smallest of the big 4) and a higher percentage of other carriers and esp. of Delta. There isn’t a single month this year in which United has been at the top of any DOT measured operational metrics even among just the big 4.

              That is not my opinion but DOT and SEC-filed data which you can verify.

              Delta hasn’t had a widebody that doesn’t have direct aisle access in business class for every passenger for a decade and AA doesn’t have any now – but UA still does.

              Julie is right. Your statements are hyperbole.

              UAL went first w/ summer 2022 so let’s see what AAL and DAL choose to do next summer to Europe but both have strong partnerships that work and a history of secondary markets that have worked and it is much more likely they will build on that platform.

              btw, hopefully you didn’t miss that Delta expects jet fuel to be 40 cents/gallon higher just for the 4th quarter and no one is expecting that to come down anytime soon. A bunch of developmental leisure heavy routes on the least fuel efficient widebody fleet of the big 3 might not result in the best financial results – which, after all, is why each of the US airlines exist.

            2. To Tim,

              Let’s see what all of the earnings reports show before gloating too much. Guidance is one thing. Actual earnings reports are quite another. Delta had a really nice quarter. Good for it – but it’s only one quarter. I’m looking at trends more than one quarter’s results. So far, so good, but hings can change quickly. If I remember right, Delta was in Chapter 11 not too long ago, along with most other airlines. I hope that doesn’t happen to any U.S. airline again.

            3. Ghost – Delta may have had a decent quarter, but the analysts were not impressed by the airline’s inability to get a handle on cost guidance.

              Cowen – “Demand is not the issue; costs are the issue and are expected to increase until the route network reaches pre-pandemic levels.”

              MKM – “Delta shares came under significant pressure yesterday as the market was clearly disappointed with the 4Q21 CASM ex guidance, and more importantly the implications for 2022. We have consistently been baking in additional cost creep given a host of restart and inflationary issues, so we were not all that surprised by the guidance.”

              Raymond James – “While Delta had walked away in recent months from its original CASM-Ex (unit cost excluding fuel, profit sharing, refinery sales, and Delta Private Jets) target timing, the latest update was disappointing.”

            4. @CF– “Cost creep” is a huge issue at DL right now. Fuel is of course a big story. But the company has also made 1000’s of current employees now eligible for medical benefits (to say nothing of the 1000’s of people being hired). Yes, almost 20% if the company took an early out (another cost), but these new costs all count towards the creep.

              Delta has also made a lot of noise about insourcing- we all saw the feel-good stories of grounded flight attendants working in catering or handling calls in reservations. That’s cool, but there is still a LOT of work vendored out across the system. Things that could be brought in-house/today/. Increasing employee productivity would offset some of those fixed costs.

              In a lot of ways, it looks like DL is sliding back into the bad habits of the early 2000’s.

  3. I’m really skeptical of Tenerife and Palma de Mallorca. Everything I’ve heard about those destinations is that they’re EU heavy and pretty light on Americans. They may very well work out, especially Tenerife on the smaller 757, but these seem like a big gamble. It’s hard for me to believe UA couldn’t find a better place to fly some planes next summer.

    Bergen is fascinating too. It seems like a novelty route that won’t have large appeal, it may have just enough traffic to keep it alive at 3x weekly. It would certainly be very cool if it worked out. Amman, on the other hand, seems like a really solid add, as do the expanded frequency routes.

    Above all, it will be really interesting to see what the transatlantic market looks like next year. If UA (and the other airlines, for that matter) are off on their predictions it may be a sale-induced bloodbath of low fares. Or, if COVID concerns continue to fade (which I’m sure we all hope they do) it may indeed be a banner year for transatlantic travel. Only time will tell.

    1. As someone who has visited Palma de Mallorca I can say with confidence its an amazing island and worth a visit. Now, finding enough people to fill up a 767 3x weekly is another question. I’m guessing that won’t come at a discount price like a much shorter hop to Mexico or the Caribbean. How much of a premium will people pay for some authentic Spanish culture for their beach vacation? My bet is that there is some pent up demand for exotic travel due to the Covid mess that it’ll work for a short while but once United has tapped the small group that wants that it’s done. Doubt we will see this route year after year after year. And also this flight is out of Newark. For people not NYC based getting to PMI is probably just as easily done via any of the European gateways like LHR, AMS, CDG, FRA. Heck, I got there via an EasyJet out of Luton back in the day. Once you are on the continent getting a flight to the Mediterranean is easy and cheap.

      1. I’m not disagreeing in any way that Palma de Mallorca is a great place to visit. I’ve not been, but I’ve heard great things. I’m just questioning whether UA can drum up the demand to make this flight work, which you also mentioned. The other thing here for PMI is that stopping in MAD isn’t out of the way at all, so AA/IB can easily compete with a more robust (read: multi-day) schedule. For those in New York there’s now a nonstop option, but for those in the rest of the country the advantage is less clear-cut. For those in an AA or IB gateway (other than New York) this is just another one-stop option, while for those in non-gateways with service to EWR it goes from two-stop to one-stop. Finally, for much of the country it remains a two-stop just as it always has been.

        All that’s to say that I just don’t think the demand will be there, though to be fair, UA only needs to fill a 767 3 times weekly, so that’s not so bad. If they can get some high-end leisure customers to book some expensive tickets it may work. If not, then I don’t see this lasting.

        Tenerife has a slightly better argument since it involves a backtrack from mainland Spain, but it still seems questionable. Either way, it will be fun to watch what happens!

        1. dfw88 – If there is any demand on this route, United should get it easily.
          The problem with much of southern Europe leisure is that the flights tend to be timed for Europeans to fly back in the afternoon/evening since nobody wants to wake up early. It makes connectivity back to the US tough. In the case of Palma, it does have some morning flying, but then you still have to get up early and you double connect if you’re going to most destinations outside big US cities. The United flight goes at 1255p, so you can enjoy the morning, get that extra vacation, and then fly back later and still single connect almost anywhere. It definitely adds something unique to the market, if there is a market!

          1. I was going to mention that the real difficulty with the Canaries is the return flight. The Europe to US flights tend to leave in the morning, which makes inbound connections tough.

    2. Yeah they are definitely major gambles.
      Palma is perhaps the most up-market Mediterranean island which could attract the right sort of customers United will need to pay up for the flights on this.

      But both the PMI and Tenerife are a little bit ‘BA announces direct service to Fort Myers and Panama City Beach’ …

      1. Maybe less of a gamble than we think? The Canary Islands are offering something like 5M euros to carriers to start service.

  4. As a potential European recovery begins with US border reopenings, it will interesting to watch each carrier’s strategies. United is clearly leaning heavily towards a seasonal, leisure oriented increase in capacity next summer which is somewhat surprising given how strong UA’s alliance partner hubs are in Europe. CF’s assessment of the strength and weaknesses as well as long-term potential (or not) is pretty much on point.
    American pursued a heavily leisure oriented seasonal strategy pre-covid and recognized that they cannot support that kind of strategy long term. Delta did the same thing after its merger with NW and has narrowed down to a handful of “regular” seasonal markets, some of which it flew last summer.
    It is also worth noting that United still has more than four dozen PW powered 777 grounded and, while it is planning to have those aircraft back in service next year, the FAA has not approved their return, so far as I know.
    Also, Asia, where UAL has been the largest transpacific carrier for about a decade, remains heavily closed and United isn’t likely to restore many of its year-round business-heavy transpacific routes. UA might be just waiting for Asia to open to reploy alot of this capacity.
    As for the positioning of United relative to the industry, they are expected to post a third quarter loss when they report while others have not and will not and UAL’s operational metrics as measured by the DOT are middle of the pack at best and in the bottom tier for some metrics.
    As with all things in a business and life, the goal is not the splash of an announcement but the position in getting across the finish line.
    As with many things discussed on this site, it would be great if CF does a post-mortem next fall on each carrier’s summer 2022 route choices.

  5. The Canary Islands are a huge tourist area, and underserved for American travelers. I would expect that this would be paired with a major ad campaign to get Americans there.

    1. Overcrowded with Europeans on their holidays. Guaranteed, in a year or less United will pull out because no one will be going to these places except airline employees.

  6. Asked this on Live and Let’s Fly, figured there might be good feedback here also:

    Any thought as to how United will shape it’s currently scheduled services to Europe in summer 2022, especially to smaller cities? Feels like they will continue massaging and shifting their trans-Atlantic service over the next few months, as they get a better sense of demand. Thinking of routes like IAD-GVA, which operated daily in spring/summer (and possibly the rest of the year?) pre-covid, but hasn’t been restarted yet, understandably. Looks like it is scheduled to run 4x weekly starting in mid-December, and then go to daily in late March. EWR-GVA appears to be restarting at the end of October at 4x weekly.

    Just wondering if a destination like GVA, which seems to be a sort of mix of leisure and business traffic, but isn’t a partner hub like BRU or ZRH, will really see enough demand to make United comfortable with 2x daily service this summer, counting both IAD/EWR.

    But I will say that the addition of IAD-BER service makes me think a route like IAD-GVA will stay intact. They wouldn’t proactively add daily IAD-BER service unless they felt quite positive about summer 2022 bookings on a route like that, which again has a sister route to EWR. From afar, BER and GVA seem to have certain similarities, with a mix of business and leisure traffic, not a partner hub, although BER obviously a larger overall population, balanced by the $ in/around GVA.

    1. GVA is a partner hub for LX. I’ve connected there multiple times. I don’t know the split for Americans for O/D but LX runs some convenient connections there.

      1. Interesting, didn’t realize that- Wikipedia does indeed list GVA as an LX focus city. That makes sense and gives me some comfort that that additional feed to smaller European airports probably helps fill that IAD-GVA flight. IAD definitely has a growing pool of affluent flyers who likely are interested in some of those pure leisure destinations.

        Appreciate the feedback.

        1. No problem. It’s such a small city (~200K), there’s absolutely no reason why someone would know it’s a hub unless you’ve been forced to connect through it. For what it’s worth, though, the LX lounge absolutely sucks and the airport is not Europe’s finest.

  7. Why do no American carriers serve Vienna, Austria? They all seem to avoid it! United code shares with Austrian Airlines on their 4 or 5 daily non-stops to North America via DIA, EWR, JFK, LAX) but that service is terrible. Many long booked United customers can’t even get advanced seat assignments and are treated as standby passengers. Fares are high. Vienna is a large world-class business, government and leisure market last served mostly by PanAm. TWA had a flight in the 1990’s. American and Delta have an obvious opportunity with Vienna but something keeps them away!

    1. Probably exactly because of the existing Austrian service- not enough demand out of smaller US cities to justify a flight, and not enough demand out of NYC/CHI to justify a new flight beyond what Austrian already offers.

    2. IAD also has a daily non-stop on Austrian. You are correct, it’s interesting that all of the Star Alliance hub service is on OS instead of a mix of UA and OS metals.

      Interesting new destinations by United, was hoping to see more of the fun stuff out of IAD but understand the connectivity from EWR is much greater.

      I have several friends who have enjoyed the IAD-GVA flights, I’m hoping to join them myself.

  8. Interesting news about SFO-BLR back on the schedule–if it actually happens. Now with Tata Group winning the bid for Air India, and their decent track record in running businesses, I wonder if UA will be more interested in partnering with their Star Alliance partner for more of the US-India market. That may be more a year or two out to see how much progress Tata can make with resurrecting AI.

  9. United didn’t retire as many widebody aircraft as Delta and American, so it has to put them somewhere. American tried a number of “unusual” leisure routes with older, cheaper (i.e., paid-for) aircraft pre-covid. Some worked. Some didn’t. This is reminiscent of those moves. I remember how American’s Dubrovnik service was highly criticized at one time. Now other airlines fly there. Obviously, many of American’s other experimental routes didn’t work out as well. That’s why it hasn’t gone back, and maybe that strategy isn’t the right one for American going forward. We’ll see. Delta may also take a different approach than United or American. Stay tuned. It could get very interesting. Not to repeat myself too much, these airlines have a lot more comprehensive data than we do. So they should have a better handle on what could work, at least in theory. But to state the obvious, there’s no guarantee any of United’s new routes will work, but the airline probably figures they’re worth a shot.

    All of the airlines are working to predict what the “new normal” will be. None of us knows. I’m not sure I agree with Tim’s apparent prediction that these routes will require a “post mortem.” To me, that implies automatic failure. I’d like to propose a modification of his language to call it a “scorecard” instead. It’s possible that some of these routes could work. If I remember correctly, Delta has flown to Nice from New York in the past. Maybe United, with a true hub in New York, can generate the extra feed needed to make that route more profitable than Delta could with its HINO (hub in name only – borrowing a political term) at JFK. And connecting Washington directly to other country’s capital cities (Amman, Berlin, Tokyo, etc.) seems to be a no-brainer to me. But that doesn’t mean I’m right, or that the new routes will work out economically.

    1. Ghost,
      scorecard is indeed a better word than post-mortem, a word I chose to reflect the largely seasonal nature of the routes which means many but not all will likely not be operating this time next year.
      No one is gloating or holding any company in a higher position than they should be or throwing shade where it isn’t called for. There is data that tells how well much of the industry does and it does become public in time. Airline planning teams have fresher and more comprehensive data but the rest of us aren’t completely in the dark.
      United didn’t retire as many widebody aircraft, said all along it expected to restore its pre-covid fleet while other airlines including both American and Delta have made significant improvements in fleet efficiency and have simplified their fleets though AAL and DAL aren’t at a disadvantage in restoring capacity because AAL has done it at a faster rate and DAL has done it more profitably. In longhaul markets, UA is likely to be the most costly on a per-seat basis of the big 3 if it gets all of its PW 777s back in service.
      Airlines are publicly traded companies and do provide investor guidance; it is generally not considered favorably for a company to miss analyst expectations, even if it is to the good. Companies have an obligation to keep investors and analysts reasonably up to date with key issues and opportunities facing the company.

      You keep repeating alot of things including implying that DL at JFK is not a true hub. It is not as large as UA at EWR but it is very much a true hub and DL will continue to grow it. DL happens to have the advantage of another hub at LGA. And DL’s share in NYC has been more stable through the pandemic and coming out of it than AA or UA.
      And DL has been flying to Nice since the Pan Am acquisition.
      It is also possible that we will see other routes added between the big 3 as a result of these announcements which see UA adding capacity in Southern Europe and Africa, areas where DL has traditionally been stronger.
      When Delta announces its new routes, there is a pretty high chance that Delta will add route(s) to India which has long been a United stronghold. Delta isn’t buying all of these A350s to fly just to Europe.
      I expect AA to fully lean on its BA/IB partnership where they have done well in contrast to their non-partner destinations.

      Airlines are different but they also manage to find ways of getting into routes which the others manage to do well in.

      1. Tim,

        Of course, I tend to repeat myself. We all do. Not only that, but we tend to post the same things over and over again, and even get redundant from time to time. LOL!

        investment guidance is usually aimed at traders and short-term investors. The market reacts to “misses” and “beats” short term, but share prices tend to go back to where they were fairly quickly, unless there’s a catastrophe. Long-term investors tend to look at company fundamentals. But as prospecti (my made-up plural of the word prospectus) often mention, “Past performance isn’t a guarantee of future results.”

        I think you may have me mixed up with others (which can be easy to do), I have mentioned Newark versus JFK/LaGuardia, from time to time, but rarely. I’m usually not big on that kind of minutiae. But it seemed appropriate in this context (but maybe It wasn’t). Delta’s “HINOs” (The truth is that I wanted to use that silly derivation of the oft-abused political term) at JFK and La Guardia simply can’t match what United has at Newark. That’s a fact. Neither JFK nor LGA on its own can connect passengers as comprehensively as can be done at Newark or even Philadelphia. Delta apparently hasn’t lost any sleep over that issue, and I tend to doubt it will. The airline has plenty of strong fortress hubs where it can efficiently route and connect passengers. I didn’t see Delta flying to Nice now, which is why I mentioned it. It’ll be interesting to see if Nice returns to Delta’sachedule, and if it does, to see how it performs with the added competition – or if the market grows, which is also possible. Delta would seem to have an advantage in Nice since it’s in the home country of joint venture partner Air France. Again, to repeat myself, let’s see what happens.

        1. Until Delta builds a Hyperloop tunnel between LGA and JFK, the only benefit it gets at JFK from LGA service is increased customer loyalty in the greater NYC area (except for all of New Jersey).

          Which, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with connectivity at JFK.

  10. This seems to be very wishful. The problem for UA is that their long haul international (specifically TPAC) network is going to be the slowest coming back. Their coastal hubs will have the slowest recovery in business traffic. Kirby has been very conservative in bringing back capacity for UA up until now. It’s for good reason. They simply aren’t getting the bookings that AA has been getting. But it seems to me he has gotten impatient of waiting and decided to make a huge order (United Next) and now needs to find places to fly them.

    The PWM experiment this summer was a disaster for UA. They couldn’t even fill 50 seaters on sub-daily frequency. Their new belief is that TATL next summer will somehow have more demand than summer of 2019. Really? There is minimal international business still. The European carriers are going to be desperate chasing after TATL traffic, since they don’t have the large domestic market to turn to. The people that live on the coast are still the most fearful of COVID and least likely to travel far from home. Canada lifting its border restrictions didn’t cause a huge jump in border traffic. What evidence is there that TATL traffic will be a boom? I can see a jump in VFR demand to Europe, but pure leisure and business are different stories.

    Out of the big 3, AA with it’s Latam focus will do the best here. It didn’t have much of a TPAC presence to begin with and have found useful to just deploy them domestically or to Latam out of MIA. DL is also putting out a very ambitious TATL schedule for next summer. Maybe not as adventurous as UA, but still quite ridiculous.

    At the end of day, UA needs to start retiring widebodies, because TPAC demand isn’t coming back anytime soon. And very quickly, it’s going to find that United Next is overly ambitious.

    Meanwhile, NK/F9’s domestic/Caribbean focus will draw vast majority of leisure demand next summer. If COVID continues to be present and economy continues to be weak, people are not going to want to go very far. Cheap ULCC fares will be the main draw.

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