United Airlines plans 4 new LAX routes to beaches in Mexico, Belize
United Airlines will offer Southern Californians four more ways to escape their homes and hit the beach this winter.
The Chicago-based Star Alliance carrier will add new nonstop flights between its Los Angeles (LAX) hub and Belize City (BZE) in Belize, and Cozumel (CZM), Manzanillo (ZLO) and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa (ZIH) in Mexico, United said Tuesday. Service will launch in January and February, with a seasonal schedule.
The new routes come as travelers continue to prefer destinations where they can be outdoors and socially distance during the coronavirus pandemic. Caribbean and Florida beach locales, mountains towns in the Rockies and desert oases have all fared well.
Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG's free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!
United is launching more than 17 new nonstop flights to Florida that bypass it hubs this winter. Others, like JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines, are adding newly popular places like Montrose, Colorado (MTJ) and Palm Springs (PSP) to their maps.
The first of United's new Los Angeles routes begins with service to Belize City on Jan. 9. Cozumel, Manzanillo and Zihuatanejo flights begin on Feb.13. All four routes operate once-weekly through the winter. The airline will fly a Boeing737-800 to Belize City and Cozumel, and an Embraer 175 to Manzanillo and Zihuatanejo.
Tickets for the new routes are on sale at United's website. One-way fares to Belize City begin at $346, Cozumel at $206, Manzanillo at $376 and Zihuatanejo at $296.
Related: United Airlines returns to New York JFK with flights to California in February
“Over the last few months, we’ve seen solid demand from our customers in Los Angeles to reunite with their friends and relatives in Latin America or escape to warm-weather destinations where they are still able to socially distance," said United director of airport operations in Los Angeles Alberto Diaz in a statement.
United's schedule remains far below where it was in 2019. In December, the carrier plans to fly just 52% of what it flew a year ago, according to Cirium data. January schedules will load about 30 days out.
And United is not the only airline betting on beach-bound flyers from Los Angeles. American Airlines flies the LAX-Belize City route and Alaska Airlines the LAX-Manzanillo and LAX-Zihuatanejo routes, Cirium schedules show.
Related: Colorado braces to wave of new winter flights as Americans flock to ‘snow and sun’ destinations