United Airlines Sees Strong Summer International Demand

Credit: Joe Pries

United Airlines reports bookings for international flights were up 15% in March 2023 versus March 2022, validating the carrier’s plans to offer a robust international schedule for the northern hemisphere summer season.

The Chicago-based Star Alliance member will serve 114 airports outside the U.S. during the summer season and offer 25% more international capacity compared to the 2022 summer season. 

United Senior VP of Global Network Planning Patrick Quayle cites “unprecedented demand for travel overseas” as driving the carrier’s just-started summer schedule.

United launched daily Boeing 777-200ER service between its Newark (EWR) hub and Dubai (DXB) on March 25, kicking off its new codeshare agreement with Emirates Airline. The United-Emirates codeshare deal “is very targeted,” United MD of International Network Planning Matt Stevens recently told Aviation Week Network. “With Emirates, we are very intentionally trying to highlight areas of opportunity where we really weren't effectively competing.”

United says its passengers will be able to connect via Dubai to more than 70 destinations in Emirates’ and flydubai’s networks.

Also on March 25, United added a second daily flight between Los Angeles (LAX) and London Heathrow (LHR) with a 787-9 aircraft. The carrier will operate 23 total daily flights between the U.S. and Heathrow during the summer season. 

The airline will also add a second daily flight between Washington Dulles (IAD) and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) from June 2 with a 777-200ER. United additionally serves CDG from Newark, Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and San Francisco (SFO). 

United notes it will also serve 27 destinations via transpacific flying this summer. “Excluding mainland China and Hong Kong, United's capacity across the Pacific will exceed 2019 levels by more than 15% this summer,” the airline says in a statement. 

United has restarted service between Denver (DEN) and Tokyo Narita (NRT) and between San Francisco (SFO) and Hong Kong (HKG). It has also commenced serving Tokyo Haneda (HND) from both Dulles and LAX.

The airline points out passengers will be able to access 20 Australian destinations during the northern hemisphere summer schedule beyond the cities United serves—Brisbane (BNE), Melbourne (MEL) and Sydney (SYD)—via a new codeshare accord with Virgin Australia.

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.