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Iceland is the latest European hotspot — at least when it comes to new nonstop routes from the US. Following a massive expansion from low-cost carrier WOW Air, the island nation now offers service from a surprising number of US gateways. New flights are planned from some of the country’s smallest international markets, too, including Cincinnati (CVG), Cleveland (CLE) and St. Louis (STL), catapulting Keflavík International Airport (KEF) into the spotlight throughout the United States.

Many of KEF’s passengers are simply passing through en-route to mainland Europe and beyond, but Delta has offered service to Iceland-bound travelers for years, with year-round service from New York (JFK) and seasonal flights from Minneapolis (MSP). Now, United Airlines plans to launch an Iceland flight of its own, joining WOW and Icelandair with daily summer service from Newark (EWR), from May 23 through October 3, 2018.

That’s not all, though — next summer, United will also introduce service from EWR to Porto, Portugal (OPO), operating every day from May 4 through October 3, 2018. This new flight will join TAP’s year-round Monday/Thursday service from Newark to Porto. Both of these Newark flights will be operated by the 757-200, with 16 lie-flat seats arranged in a 2-2 configuration in business class, 45 seats arranged 3-3 in Economy Plus and 108 seats in the coach cabin.

Fly United
You can fly United’s lie-flat 757 business class to Iceland.

While new destinations are typically most exciting, there are two other United additions that are not to be overlooked. The first is seasonal 787-8 Dreamliner service from San Francisco (SFO) to Zurich (ZRH), operating daily from June 7 through October 26. Additionally, United will add a seasonal 757 flight from Washington, D.C. (IAD) to Edinburgh (EDI), flying daily from May 23 through October 3.

To recap, United plans to add the following seasonal flights:

  • UA144 Newark (EWR) 9:45pm Departure ⇒ Porto (OPO) 9:50am (+1) Arrival
  • UA145 Porto (OPO) 12:35pm Departure ⇒ Newark (EWR) 1:35pm Arrival
  • UA138 Newark (EWR) 10:30pm Departure ⇒ Reykjavik (KEF) 8:10am (+1) Arrival
  • UA139 Reykjavik (KEF) 11:55am Departure ⇒ Newark (EWR) 2:05pm Arrival
  • UA44 San Francisco (SFO) 2:10pm Departure ⇒ Zurich (ZRH) 10:10am (+1) Arrival
  • UA45 Zurich (ZRH) 9:50am Departure ⇒ San Francisco (SFO) 12:40pm Arrival
  • UA146 Washington, D.C. (IAD) 10:10pm Departure ⇒ Edinburgh (EDI) 10:25am (+1) Arrival
  • UA147 Edinburgh (EDI) 12:40pm Departure ⇒ Washington, D.C. (IAD) 3:40pm Arrival

Finally, some existing seasonal flights will be extended as follows:

  • Chicago to Edinburgh will run from May 4 through October 26
  • San Francisco to Munich will run from May 4 through October 26
  • Chicago to Dublin will run from April 9 through October 26
  • Washington, D.C. to Lisbon will run from April 9 through October 26

These new flights and increased frequencies join United’s other recent route announcements, including Los Angeles (LAX) to Singapore (SIN), launching October 27, 2017, and Houston (IAH) to Sydney (SYD), launching January 18, 2018.

Personally, I’m most excited about the Porto flight — OPO has been near the top of my must-visit list for years, and I even had a trip booked last year until a TAP schedule change caused a conflict in my schedule. Iceland is also somewhere I’ve been dying to visit, though with $200 airfares regularly available through WOW, I’m less likely to redeem valuable MileagePlus miles to fly that route.

Featured image courtesy of Apexphotos via Getty Images.

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