United Airlines adds 3 more point-to-point routes from the Midwest
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United Airlines continues to shake up its route map, adding more point-to-point service amid the pandemic.
The carrier’s latest additions come from its former hub in Cleveland – which gets nonstop service to Las Vegas and Phoenix – and Indianapolis, which will see nonstop flights to Orlando.
United says the additions are to meet an “expected surge in holiday travel.” Searches for holiday flights on United’s website and app are up 16% compared to 2019, the last holiday season before the COVID-19 crisis upended travel in North America.
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To meet that demand, United is boosting its schedule on popular winter routes — including the new nonstop flights from the Midwest. The carrier also is restoring several other point-to-point routes it added last winter between the Midwest and Florida. Among those returning are routes to Fort Myers, Florida, from Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio.
Elsewhere, United is upping wintertime frequencies to western ski resorts such as Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Sun Valley, Idaho; and Bozeman, Montana. A particular highlight comes with a new nonstop route that connects Burbank, California, to Aspen, Colorado.
“We’re seeing a lot of pent-up demand in our data and are offering a December schedule that centers on the two things people want most for the holidays: warm sunshine and fresh snow,” Ankit Gupta, United’s vice president of network planning and scheduling at United, said in a statement.
United’s current plan for December calls for more than 3,500 domestic flights – a number that United says is 91% of what it flew domestically in December 2019.
More United news: 99.5% of United employees have now complied with the vaccine mandate
Notable in United’s December boost are the additions from Cleveland. Aside from the Las Vegas and Phoenix nonstops, United also has previously announced seasonal wintertime service to Cancun, Mexico, and Nassau in the Bahamas. Come this December, United says it will offer the most departures it has flown from Cleveland since 2014 — the year the carrier officially dropped it as hub.
More broadly, United’s new point-to-point routes echo a strategy it adopted last winter as airlines around the nation struggled to adjust route maps to the new realities ushered in by the pandemic. After air travel cratered in the spring, a slow-but-steady rebound took hold — driven by demand to outdoor destinations that allowed for social distancing. High on the list were beaches in Florida and mountain destinations in the West — the same destinations United is focusing on in Thursday’s announcement.
Details of United’s three latest point-to-point routes are as follows.
- Cleveland-Las Vegas: Begins Dec. 16 and runs through March 26; operated with Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
- Cleveland-Phoenix: Begins Dec. 16 and runs through March 26; operated with Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
- Indianapolis-Orlando: Begins Dec. 18 and runs through April 30; operated with Embraer E170/E175 aircraft
Featured photo courtesy of United Airlines.
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