United Airlines announces new summer domestic routes

United Airlines (Chicago) today announced plans to launch year-round and seasonal service on several new routes to begin in the summer of 2012.

United will begin daily year-round service between Washington/Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Honolulu (HNL) on June 7, 2012, the only nonstop service between the two points. The flights will operate using the pictured Boeing 767-400 aircraft.

The airline will also add seasonal service to several popular summer travel destinations.

Alaska: New daily service between Denver (DEN) and Fairbanks, Alaska (FAI), will operate from June 7, 2012 through August 27, 2012, using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Fairbanks offers access to Denali National Park, one of Alaska’s most visited destinations. The flights complement United’s existing Alaska service to Anchorage from hubs in Denver, Chicago, Houston and San Francisco, as well as Seattle/Tacoma.

South Dakota: United Express will offer daily seasonal service between Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Rapid City, S.D. (RAP), gateway to the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Park, from June 7, 2012, to August 27, 2012. ExpressJet will operate the flights using Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft. United currently serves Rapid City from its Denver and Chicago hubs.

Wyoming: The airline will also add summer-season flights between its Houston and San Francisco (SFO) hubs and Jackson Hole, Wyoming (JAC), which attracts millions of summer visitors to nearby Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons. The Houston flights will operate twice-weekly from June 8, 2012, through August 27, 2012, using Boeing 757-200 aircraft. The San Francisco flights will operate daily from July 1, 2012, through August 27, 2012, as United Express, with Bombardier CR700 aircraft flown by SkyWest Airlines. These flights are in addition to United’s existing service to Jackson Hole from hubs in Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

With these new route additions, United will remain within the previously announced capacity guidance.

Since the October 2010 merger of United and Continental, the larger combined fleet has given the company flexibility to better meet market demand. United has added new routes from its hubs to international destinations such as Lagos, Nigeria; Guadalajara, Mexico; Montreal, Canada; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Shanghai, China, and Stuttgart, Germany, along with new intra-Asia routes between the Tokyo hub and Hong Kong and between the Guam hub and Okinawa, Japan.

The merger also enabled the company to add a number of new domestic routes by using a mix of mainline and regional aircraft from both carriers more efficiently.

Copyright Photo: Jeffrey S. DeVore.

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