United Airlines adds 2 more routes at growing Washington Dulles hub

Dec 13, 2019

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United Airlines will add two more routes to its growing Washington Dulles hub next summer, connecting the airport to Bangor, Maine, and Madison, Wisconsin.

The Star Alliance carrier will begin service between Dulles (IAD) and Bangor (BGR) on June 4, and Madison (MSN) on May 8, United said Friday. Both routes will operate twice daily, with Bangor flown on Embraer ERJ-145s and Madison on either Bombardier CRJ700s or ERJ-145s.

Tickets for the flights go on sale Saturday, Dec. 14.

The Bangor and Madison routes are the latest additions by United at its growing Washington-area hub. To date, the airline has unveiled plans for five new routes from Dulles in 2020, including West Palm Beach (PBI) starting in February, and Akron/Canton (CAK) and Philadelphia (PHL) starting in May.

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For the year ending in June, United will operate 5.6% more seats at Dulles than during the same period the year before, according to Cirium schedules. The increase comes even as it discontinues service to Chattanooga, Tennessee, (CHA) this month, and Elmira, New York, (ELM) in January.

“Dulles remains the largest global gateway for local travelers, and we will look forward to continuing to expand United’s superior network from Washington region,” Ankit Gupta, vice president of domestic network planning at United, said in a statement.

United is on a tear at Dulles. The carrier began shifting connecting flights to the airport from its Newark Liberty (EWR) hub as part of a larger effort to boost its domestic share in 2018. The growth has seen costs fall at Dulles, enabling further expansion and a willingness to invest in the hub, with a Polaris Lounge due to open next year.

Related: United Airlines adds 3 more routes to growing Washington Dulles hub

The carrier is even considering more than significantly growing the number of flights it operates at Dulles by adding more “banks” — or specific time periods when a number of flights are coordinated to arrive and depart together — throughout the day.

United is growing across its map. The airline plans to expand system capacity by 4-6% year-over-year in 2020, with the majority focused in the U.S. The only potential foil, at this point, is when the Boeing 737 MAX will resume flying.

United will face no direct competition between either Bangor or Madison and Dulles, according to Cirium. However, nearby Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA) airport has nonstops to Bangor on American Airlines, and Madison on Delta Air Lines.

Featured image by Edward Russell/TPG.

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