United suspends 7 long-haul routes for June due to aircraft shortage

May 7, 2022

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If you’re flying United next month to Hawaii, Japan, Brazil or parts of Europe, listen up.

Just three weeks before the start of June, the Chicago-based carrier is temporarily suspending seven routes for the month due to an aircraft shortage, according to Cirium schedule data viewed by TPG and later confirmed by the airline.

Specifically, it’s still awaiting final clearance to bring back its 52 Boeing 777-200s and 777-200ERs powered by Pratt & Whitney engines. Those aircraft have been grounded since February 2021, when a United flight from Denver (DEN) to Honolulu (HNL) rained engine parts on a suburban Denver neighborhood. No one was injured, and the aircraft was eventually repaired.

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United was targeting a gradual return of that fleet starting May 13, according to Cirium. That fleet is now scheduled to return starting May 26, but that’s not soon enough for United to have enough of the fleet back in service to operate the entire schedule it had planned for June.

For now, United is suspending service between the following city pairs for the month of June:

  • Newark (EWR) and Maui (OGG)
  • EWR and HNL
  • EWR and Tokyo (NRT)
  • Washington Dulles (IAD) and São Paulo, Brazil (GRU)
  • IAD and Geneva, Switzerland (GVA)
  • IAD and HNL
  • IAD and Dublin, Ireland (DUB), which is suspended June 4 through June 30

In addition, United is discontinuing service between EWR and Stockholm, Sweden (ARN) through the end of the carrier’s schedule, which currently runs through April. That route – seasonal summertime service that last operated in 2019 – had been set to begin on May 26 and end in October.

United’s route cuts. (Screenshot from Cirium)

In a statement, United said it looked forward to restoring the service, which — with the exception of Stockholm — is set to resume for July.

“United makes regular adjustments to our schedule in response to factors including resources such as available aircraft,” the airline said. “We look forward to bringing back this flying soon.”

While these suspended routes were not necessarily operated by 777s, the lack of those planes has caused the airline to move its fleet around.

More: United’s international-focused summer begins today with five unusual new routes

United continues to serve all the impacted cities through other hubs, with the exception of Stockholm, which is a hub for Star Alliance partner Scandinavian Airlines. If you’re booked on any of these routes, check your reservations on United.com or United’s app immediately as rebooking options might be more limited due to the somewhat last-minute nature of the cuts.

The cuts come as United plans a big summer schedule, especially in transatlantic markets, where it was aiming to offer 25% more capacity than it did in 2019. This includes five new and unique routes, including IAD to Amman, Jordan (AMM), which launched Thursday. United confirmed none of those were affected in the latest round of temporary cuts.

Featured photo by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

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