United Airlines Plans to Extend Services From Chicago to Ireland and Barcelona

United Airlines announced plans to increase its service next summer by adding direct flights from Chicago to two major European cities. As part of its European expansion, the airline will also begin offering direct flights from Chicago’s O’Hare airport to Shannon, Ireland. The company claims that travelers can reach Limerick and Galway more quickly from Shannon, which is situated on Ireland’s western coast. United will also maintain its nonstop service between Chicago and Dublin.

United Airlines Finding ‘New Heights’

United claims to have the most options for direct flights from Chicago to European cities, with 14. On Wednesday, United Airlines expanded its Chicago to Dublin and Madrid summer 2023 schedule. United Airlines will increase the number of its seasonal flights to Shannon, Ireland, departing from Chicago every day beginning May 25.

Recent reports from airline executives indicate a robust summer season, especially in Europe. United reported a 20% increase in demand during the summer peak season compared to 2019. Since ticket sales have continued to be strong into the fall, some airlines have decided to keep more flights operating outside of peak times to increase their bottom line.

This summer, airlines were hampered by several issues, including strong demand and revenue from high fares, but also aircraft delivery delays and shortages and chaos from staffing shortages at major European hubs like London and Amsterdam.

United’s senior vice president of global network planning and alliances, Patrick Quayle said. “This is a schedule we believe we can operate.” He assured that the company is communicating with airports and other stakeholders to avoid overbooking. According to Quayle, United’s peak summer transatlantic schedule in 2020 will be about 30% larger than in 2019 and about 10% larger than in 2022.

Unexpected Situations Demand New Routes

There are still many unknowns regarding demand in 2023, including inflation, a sluggish recovery in business travel, and other factors. Tuesday, Heathrow Airport in London issued a statement saying that they anticipate “uncertain” demand for air travel. United tried out new routes during the Covid pandemic, including flights to Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal. Even though service to Bergen, Norway, was cut from the 2023 plans, these flights are returning.

United announced on Wednesday that it will begin nonstop 777-200ER service between San Francisco and Rome on May 25. On the same day, seasonal service to Shannon, Ireland, will begin from Chicago O’Hare International Airport, giving travelers more options for reaching cities like Limerick and Galway on Ireland’s western coast. On this route, United will use a Boeing 757-200.

United will also be expanding service out of its other domestic hubs, including Rome, Paris, Barcelona, London, Berlin, and Shannon, some of Europe’s most popular cities. By next summer, United will serve 37 destinations across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

United’s senior vice president of global network planning and alliances, Patrick Quayle, explains, “Next summer, United is offering the best of both worlds: we’re making it easier for our customers to visit the most popular cities in Europe, and we’re expanding our reach to give travelers access to new places they might not be able to fly to directly before.” “We anticipate another busy summer for international travel and are proud to build on our industry-leading global network to offer our customers the widest range of destinations and most convenient travel options,” the company said.

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