Photo by Shutterstock
Photo by Shutterstock
Next stop with United: The Azores, Portugal
The carrier has announced its largest transatlantic expansion to date, which includes several entirely new nonstop destinations in Europe and beyond.
United Airlines is taking Europe by storm. The carrier on Tuesday confirmed its largest transatlantic expansion to date, with plans to launch or resume 30 transatlantic flights between now and June, a move that will make United’s transatlantic route network 25 percent larger than it was in 2019.
After the pandemic battered international air travel the past two years, United is now seeing a boom in travel for 2022 as travel restrictions and pandemic regulations ease domestically and abroad. United is anticipating “a strong demand recovery,” stated Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of international networks and alliances at United.
The ambitious new schedule, which kicks off this month, includes routes where United has little or no competition from other U.S. carriers, noted Quayle. At a press briefing attended by AFAR this past fall, when United first unveiled the expansion plans, he acknowledged that United’s new timetable includes some “new and unexpected places,” adding that “we want to return travel to being fun.”
In addition to increasing unique leisure destinations, United will boost flights from U.S. gateways to European cities where it already has a presence.
The emphasis on leisure locales is in part a reflection of the fact that business travel is still lagging behind prepandemic levels, but Quayle also said that some of the countries where it’s expanding also have a strong “VFR” (visiting friends and relatives) market, such as Portugal. Quayle noted that in 2022, United “will have the most flights between the U.S. and Portugal of all North American carriers.”
All of United’s new, expanded, and renewed flights are now available to book at United.com.
United is expanding internationally in other ways, too. This week, United and Singapore Airlines extended their codeshare agreement giving United customers access to new destinations throughout Asia and Oceania.
United customers can now connect to Perth in Australia; Male in the Maldives; Siem Reap in Cambodia; Bali, Jakarta, and Surabaya in Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia; and Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei.
Conversely, Singapore Airlines customers can connect on United’s flights out of Los Angeles to Austin, Baltimore, Boise, Cleveland, Denver, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Reno, and Sacramento—10 new U.S. codeshare destinations for Singapore Airlines.
The expansion comes as Singapore on April 26 has begun allowing fully vaccinated travelers (and children under the age of 13) to enter the city-state without providing a negative COVID test result.
“We are the only U.S. airline flying direct to Singapore from the U.S., with our nonstop San Francisco–Singapore flight,” stated Quayle.
Travelers inspired by United’s new routes should be aware that international travel requirements and restrictions continue to evolve. Check the U.S. State Department’s detailed COVID-19 travel information and country-specific advisories, which are updated regularly. We often cross-check these references with entry requirements that are published by each individual country’s foreign or public health affairs office for the latest.
Additionally, all international passengers age two and older flying into the U.S. (including returning U.S. citizens and permanent residents) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test procured within one day before boarding their flight to the United States.
The CDC also has detailed recommendations for travel during the pandemic, both for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
This story was originally published on October 14, 2021, and has been updated to include current information.
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