United Is Adding New International Flights for Fall

This time, the carrier has its sights set on exciting destinations in South America, Africa, and Asia.

A beautiful hotel lobby with a fountain, arched doorways, marble floors, and potted plants

United loyalists will soon be able to enjoy the grand hotels of Marrakech, like the revered La Mamounia, thanks to new international routes.

Courtesy of La Mamounia

United Airlines is growing its international route network once again.

The Chicago-based airline just announced three brand-new international destinations and plans to add more frequent flights to locales it already serves.

Later this year, the airline will begin offering nonstop flights to Medellín, Colombia; Marrakech, Morocco; and Cebu, Philippines. All told, the new routes will bring United’s nonstop service to 134 international destinations spanning 67 countries.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new (and expanding) routes.

Marrakech, Morocco

As of October 24, 2024, travelers will be able to connect directly from New York’s Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Morocco’s Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK). The flights will operate three times a week on Boeing 767-300ER planes, which feature 46 Polaris business-class pods, 22 Premium Plus recliners, 43 Economy Plus extra-legroom seats, and 56 economy seats. Planes will depart Newark at 12:45 p.m. (on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) and arrive in Morocco the following day at 11:20 a.m. (local time), with the return flight (on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday) departing Morocco at 1:20 p.m. and touching down in Newark at 4:25 p.m. (local time).

The route will run through mid-spring 2025, according to United. The tickets aren’t yet bookable, as they’re currently subject to government approval.

Islands dot Guatapé Lake in Colombia

Just east of Medellín is the Andean resort area of Guatapé Lake.

Photo by Daniel Alvarez/Shutterstock

Medellín, Colombia

Starting October 27, 2024, United plans to fly nonstop from Houston’s George Bush International Airport (IAH) to Medellín, Colombia’s José María Córdova International Airport (MDE). The daily flights—which will be operated on Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft—will depart Houston at 4:29 p.m. and arrive in Medellín at 10:05 p.m. (local time). Going the reverse direction, planes will depart Medellín at 10:45 a.m. and reach Texas at 2:38 p.m. Like those for Marrakech, the tickets will be bookable as soon as United has government approval, though there’s no word on when that will be.

Though this is United’s first flight path to Medellín, the carrier already flies to Bogotá from Houston and Newark.

 Kawasan waterfalls in the jungle of Cebu Island, Philippines, featuring a pool of clear blue water and surrounded by greenery

The beautiful Kawasan waterfall is situated in the jungle paradise of Cebu Island.

Photo by oneinchpunch/Shutterstock

Cebu, Philippines

When United launches its service to Cebu City on October 27, 2024, it’ll be the only U.S. carrier that reaches the Philippines city, which serves as a gateway to Cebu Island and its white-sand beaches, waterfalls, and incredible diving scenery. Granted, the nonstop service isn’t departing from American soil—it leaves from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (which is accessible with direct flights from Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, and San Francisco).

The daily, year-round service will operate on Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with planes departing Tokyo at 5:25 p.m. and arriving at Cebu at 9:35 p.m. (a flight of 5 hours and 10 minutes with the time change). The return journey will leave the Philippines at 9:15 a.m. and arrive in Tokyo at 3:20 p.m. local time.

The airline already runs a direct flight between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in the Philippines.

Additional United international flights

Beyond the three new routes, United announced that it would expand service to destinations with strong demand, including:

  • Newark to Porto, Portugal: A second daily flight will be added starting May 23.
  • Los Angeles to Hong Kong: A second daily flight will be added starting October 26.
  • San Francisco to Seoul, South Korea: A second daily flight will be added starting October 27.
  • Los Angeles to Shanghai: Starting August 29, there will be four weekly flights (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday) with return flights taking place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

United has been particularly bullish about adding flight paths to so-called second cities in recent years. In December 2023, United launched the only nonstop flight from the United States to Christchurch, New Zealand. One route, however, that is going away before it even starts is a direct flight to Faro, Portugal, which was supposed to launch this spring and has been postponed until summer 2025. Impacted customers are being offered a full refund or United will rebook travel on a partner airline without a fee.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at Afar. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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