While United Airlines expects to fly 34 percent of its full schedule from September 2019 this month, the carrier today announced plans to ramp up to 40 percent of its overall schedule in October, as compared with the same month last year.
During September, the airline said that it foresees flying 38 percent of its U.S. domestic schedule in comparison with the previous year, but United said that it plans to fly 46 percent of its domestic schedule in October, as compared to the same month in 2019. The carrier said that it also plans to resume eight more routes to Hawaii, provided that the Aloha State's pre-arrival COVID-19 testing program goes into effect as scheduled on October 1.
In September, United also expects to fly 29 percent of its international schedule in comparison with 2019, but anticipates bumping that up in October to 33 percent of its schedule in comparison with the previous year. In tandem with the slow resurgence of consumers traveling abroad, the airline plans to add more flights to popular leisure destinations in Mexico, Central America and South America.
"We continue to be data-driven and realistic in our approach to rebuilding our network," said Ankit Gupta, United's vice president of Domestic Network Planning. "Because October is typically a slower month for leisure travel, we're adjusting our schedules to reflect these seasonal changes in customer demand while resuming service or adding capacity on routes where we're seeing increased customer demand for travel."
To keep pace with fluctuating demand for leisure travel, United is ready to realign its schedule patterns in October, adding more flights on days that are popular among leisure travelers who are looking to get a jump on long-weekend getaways and reducing the number of flights on days that typically see less demand.
Here's a summary of United's plans to add and enhance routes in October 2020:
-Resuming or starting new service on nearly 50 routes, including 37 routes from United's Chicago, Denver and Houston hubs.
-Resuming additional service to Florida, including Washington-Dulles to Sarasota and Miami; and Denver to Fort Myers.
-Resuming service between Los Angeles and Eugene, Medford and Redmond/Bend in Oregon.
-Resuming service to 14 international destinations, including Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lima, Peru and Panama City, Panama.
-Increasing to twice-daily service between New York/Newark and Tel Aviv; and resuming thrice-weekly service between Washington, D.C. and Tel Aviv on October 25.
-Resuming or increasing service to Cancun, Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico from its hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York/Newark and Washington, D.C.
In recent efforts to restore travelers' confidence and provide added peace-of-mind when it comes to planning their next trip, earlier this week, United became the first U.S. legacy carrier to permanently eliminate change fees on all standard Economy- and Premium-fare tickets for domestic travel.
At the same time, the airline announced that any United customer will be able to fly standby for free on the same day as their booked departure, regardless of ticket type or fare class, beginning January 1, 2021.
On September 3, United also launched its Destination Travel Guide, a first-of-its-kind tool among U.S. airlines that facilitates customers' travel-planning by clearly outlining current COVID-19 restrictions and local regulations in all 50 states.
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