Category Archives: United Airlines

United Airlines aggressively adds service to 31 destinations

United Airlines' first Boeing 777-300ER

United Airlines is revitalizing its route network with more destinations, more flights and more convenient connections for customers in both domestic and international markets.

Subject to government approval, the carrier will add a seasonal route between San Francisco and Munich for the first time ever, and one of the carrier’s daily flights between Newark, New Jersey and Tel Aviv, Israel will be upgauged with the new Boeing 777-300ER (above). The airline is also growing its domestic network, adding even more connections and additional service to 30 destinations across the U.S.

New International Service

United’s seasonal flight between San Francisco International Airport and Munich Airport begins on May 24 with service from MUC to SFO returning the next day. The route will be operated with one of the most advanced passenger airplanes, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (below), which delivers unprecedented operating efficiency, comfort and lower emissions.

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Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2012 (787s only)

Copyright Photo Above: United Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N26902 (msn 34822) LAX (KSK). Image: 913059.

Beginning May 5, United will operate one of its Newark-Tel Aviv flights with a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, featuring the all new United Polaris seats. This will be the second route – in addition to the carrier’s flights between San Francisco and Hong Kong – that will utilize the brand new Boeing 777-300ER.

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New Domestic Markets

United is growing its domestic network by improving connectivity through its hubs, offering better products and scheduling optimal flight times. The new routes bring non-stop service to more cities giving customers more convenient travel options to some of the country’s largest cities, and beyond. The carrier is adding service to thirteen cities, including four all-new destinations: Champaign/Urbana, IL; Columbia, MO; Rochester, MN and United’s shortest flight to Santa Rosa, CA.

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Expanded Domestic Service

United is also introducing daily summer service in six markets. Flights to Salt Lake City, Fort Lauderdale, Tucson and New Orleans not previously offered in the summer, will now move to year round service.

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Added Flight Frequencies

In an effort to increase customer choice in key business and leisure markets, United will add additional daily flights in 15 existing markets.

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In total, United is adding 47 new daily round trips to its domestic schedule. The flights will be on a variety of mainline and regional jets that will add nearly 8,700 additional seats per day and approximately 90,000 new flight miles. These flights are now available for purchase with domestic service beginning as early as June 8.

Top Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 777-322 ER N2331U (msn 62642) PAE (Joe G. Walker). Image: 936140.

United Airlines (current livery):

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United’s first Boeing 777-300ER, named “New Spirit of United”, is set to take flight

United Airlines' first Boeing 777-300ER

United Airlines made this announcement on January 17, 2017 about its first Boeing 777-300ER:

Next month, a brand-new United Airlines plane will push back from the gate with a new name: “New Spirit of United.” This special aircraft is also the company’s first Boeing 777-300ER featuring the United Polaris all-aisle access, lie-flat seat. It represents a commitment to the future and the commencement of an exciting new chapter for the company as it builds the best airline in the world.

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“This aircraft symbolizes the new spirit, the energy and enthusiasm that I have seen in our employees who take great pride in the work they are doing to take care of our customers and one another,” said Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines. “The new 777-300ER fleet will play a crucial role in connecting our customers to far-away destinations and to the moments that matter most.”

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The “New Spirit of United” is exemplified by the significant progress the company made in operational reliability last year – achieving its best full-year on-time performance in company history, the elevated customer experience and the completion of new agreements with every domestic unionized work group in 2016. As United Airlines continues to build on this momentum, this new aircraft serves as a symbol of the hard work, professionalism and dedication of the entire United team to our customers.

As previously reported, the new aircraft will start regularly scheduled service on February 16, 2017 initially between the Newark and San Francisco hubs.

This is the first of 14 777-300ER aircraft United expects to place into service in 2017.

Internationally, the new type is expected to enter service on March 25, 2017 between San Francisco and Hong Kong. The 366-seat 777 is replacing a 374-seat Boeing 747-400.

As previously announced, all United Boeing 747-400s will now be replaced and retired by late 2017.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by United): United Airlines Boeing 777-322 ER N2331U (msn 62642) PAE (Joe G. Walker). Image: 936140.

United Airlines (current livery):

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United Airlines moves up the retirement date of its last Boeing 747

United Airlines Boeing 747-422 N177UA (msn 24384) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 910644.

United Airlines today (January 11) issued this statement to its employees:

“There’s something very special about a Boeing 747. It’s the one aircraft that even casual travelers can easily identify. And we know that the experience of traveling on one, or flying one, is unforgettable.

As deeply connected as we all are to this iconic aircraft, the time has come to retire our 747 fleet from scheduled service. Last March, we announced that this would occur by the end of 2018; now we plan to operate our last 747 flight in the fourth quarter of this year.

It’s a bittersweet milestone — this jumbo jet with its unmistakable silhouette once represented the state-of-the-art in air travel. Today, there are more fuel-efficient, cost-effective and reliable widebody aircraft that provide an updated inflight experience for our customers traveling on long-haul flights.

For these reasons, we’re saying farewell to the Queen of the Skies, which has been part of our fleet since we first flew the aircraft between California and Hawaii in 1970.

We’ll be working with all of you who fly or work on the 747s to ensure a smooth transition to other fleets. Our forward-looking fleet plan will cover 747 replacements and anticipated growth opportunities. And of course, we’ll honor the 747 with an unforgettable retirement celebration — we’ll keep you posted with more details on her final flight in the months ahead.

Thank you for all that you are doing. I am so proud and excited about the great future we’re building together as we create the best airline in the world.

Sincerely,

Scott Kirby – President, United Airlines

Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 747-422 N177UA (msn 24384) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 910644.

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United details the introduction of the Boeing 777-300ER

United 777-300ER (PRNewsFoto/United Airlines)

United 777-300ER (PRNewsFoto/United Airlines)

United Airlines will add the Boeing 777-300ER to its 2017 flight schedules this weekend, with the airline’s newest aircraft type featuring the all-new United Polaris business class seats starting regularly scheduled service in February 2017. The aircraft’s entry into service will also mark the debut of United’s new wide-body cabin design.

With the flight schedule update this weekend, United will offer one round trip six days each week between Newark Liberty International Airport and San Francisco International Airport between February 16 and May 4, 2017. The airline expects to begin 777-300ER intercontinental service between San Francisco and Hong Kong on March 25, 2017 with the aircraft replacing a Boeing 747-400 currently being used on the route. Flight and aircraft schedules are subject to change.

United expects to place into service all 14 aircraft in its 777-300ER order in 2017.

United Polaris seat (PRNewsFoto/United Airlines)

United Polaris seat (PRNewsFoto/United Airlines)

All-New Business Class Seat

United’s 777-300ER aircraft will offer a modern, spacious interior envisioned in partnership with design firm PriestmanGoode, including the airline’s all-new United Polaris business class seat. Each United Polaris suite-like pod will feature direct access to the aisle, a 180-degree flat-bed that measures 6’6” and 23 inches wide with infinite seat recline options and one-touch lumbar support, ample storage, multiple surfaces that enable passengers to dine while working, universal A/C power as well as 2-USB ports, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen, electronic privacy dividers for seats in the center of the cabin, mood lighting and an illuminated “Do Not Disturb” sign. Additionally, a new marble-topped bar unit offers customers in business class a place to grab a mid-flight drink or snack.

This new seat represents the latest in the continued roll-out of United Polaris, the airline’s most significant product transformation in more than a decade, featuring a reimagined, sleep-enhancing experience for intercontinental travelers.

The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will feature 60 seats in business class in a 1-2-1 configuration with direct-aisle access from all seats.

Cabin Experience

Throughout the aircraft, the cabin interior is comprised of bespoke branding elements as well as carpets, fabrics and wall laminates – that, like the United Polaris seat, were specially designed for United, as well as redesigned lavatories which include modern finishings and farmhouse-style sinks. With a focus on providing a more tranquil journey for customers, the new cabin design features LED mood-lighting to complement sleep and assist with time-zone changes as well as textured and softer touch materials which not only provide a more premium feel, but will absorb aircraft noise and other sound within the cabin.

United Economy

Seats in United Economy will offer two United Private Screening options – personal on-demand entertainment with high-definition seat-back monitors and USB ports along with United’s personal device entertainment, enabling customers to play thousands of hours of movies and television programs on their electronic devices. Customers also will have access to in-seat power outlets and the opportunity to purchase satellite Wi-Fi.

Photos: United Airlines.

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United Airlines unveils its new international travel experience – United Polaris Business Class

United Airlines made this announcement:

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With the aspiration of making weary business travel a relic of the past, United Airlines today unveiled its all-new United Polaris business class, the airline’s most significant product transformation in more than a decade, featuring a reimagined, sleep-enhancing, departure-to-landing experience for intercontinental travelers.

United Polaris Business Class logo

Named after the North Star, United Polaris is the shining new star of business class travel that flyers can turn to for a tranquil and restful journey.

“United Polaris will change the game in international business travel with an exceptional level of relaxation and comfort throughout our customers’ journeys,” said Oscar Munoz, president and CEO of United. “This completely reconceived experience exemplifies the new spirit of United and the innovation, excitement and operational momentum across our airline.”

Path-Breaking Design

In setting out to create a transformative business class experience, United chose to outfit its widebody fleet with a custom-designed, exclusive-to-United seat, rather than select an option already in the marketplace. Designed in partnership with Acumen Design Associates and PriestmanGoode and manufactured by Zodiac Seats United Kingdom, each United Polaris seat will offer direct access to the aisle, 180-degree flat-bed recline and up to 6 foot 6 inches of bed space.

Crafted as individual, forward-facing, suite-like pods, each customer’s personal suite will feature a “Do Not Disturb” sign, mood lighting, one-touch lumbar support, several storage areas, multiple surfaces for simultaneous working and dining, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen and, for seats in the center of the cabin, electronic privacy dividers. Complementing the new seats, United and PriestmanGoode have also conceived an all-new look for the United Polaris cabins.

United Polaris Business Class

In rethinking the international business class experience, United conducted more than 12,000 hours of research, and sleep emerged as the single most important priority for international business class travelers. United Polaris’ path-breaking design and sleep-enhancing focus was inspired and informed by insights from hundreds of customers and employees, inflight product simulations and more than 100 product evaluations.

Sleep-Enticing Amenities

In addition to the sleep-enticing United Polaris personal suites, several other amenities were designed with our customers’ sleep in mind.

In a first-of-its-kind partnership, United has worked with leading luxury specialty store Saks Fifth Avenue for custom-designed bedding. All designed to provide the best sleep in the sky, the new bedding collection will feature plush duvets, lightweight day-blankets and a large and small pillow for each United Polaris customer. In addition, mattress cushions will be available upon request.

Slippers will be available on all flights, and customized United Polaris pajamas will be available by request on flights longer than 12 hours. Flyers will also be able to request a gel-cooled pillow. New amenity kits will feature ergonomically designed eye shades, calming lavender pillow mist and additional products from Soho House & Co.’s Cowshed Spa.

With the introduction of United Polaris, the airline intends to donate tens of thousands of pillows, blankets and other inflight service items to Fisher House Foundation, which United and its employees have long supported.

Elevated Dining Experience

Upon boarding their flight, each United Polaris customer will be welcomed with a pre-departure beverage of his or her choice and gourmet chocolate. While in the air, customers will enjoy regionally influenced in-flight menus updated seasonally, developed in partnership with The Trotter Project and its critically recognized chefs, including Bill Kim of acclaimed Chicago restaurants Urbanbelly, bellyQ and Belly Shack.

The airline will offer an upgraded wine experience, with the highest-quality options curated exclusively by United’s Master Sommelier. Inflight service will also include made-to-order signature ice cream sundaes, a dessert cart with a variety of petit dessert options, chocolate truffles and wine flights. On daytime flights longer than eight hours and on all flights longer than 12 hours, hot mid-flight snacks such as lobster macaroni and cheese will be available.

Raising The Bar With United Polaris Business Class Lounges

United will also open an exclusive portfolio of United Polaris business class lounges in nine locations around the world – the only lounge of its kind offered by a U.S. airline to business class customers – that will feature custom-designed chairs, private daybeds, spa-like showers and chef-inspired hot meals served in a boutique restaurant setting so customers can refresh and dine before boarding their planes. Premium sparkling wines and spirits, refreshing snacks and bottled water will also be offered.

The first new United Polaris lounge will open at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Dec. 1, 2016. Lounges in eight other locations – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York/Newark, Washington Dulles, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong and London Heathrow – will follow in 2017.

United Polaris Introduction

United will begin to introduce United Polaris on Dec. 1, 2016, with the new inflight food and beverage experience, new custom bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, new amenity kits and the new United Polaris lounge in Chicago. The United Polaris business class seat will first take flight in December on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and subsequently on Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, as well as on Boeing 767-300 and 777-200 retrofits.

United Polaris will serve business class customers flying the U.S. airline industry’s most global route network, reaching more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries. This year, United launches or resumes eight intercontinental routes, including the first-ever service between the United States and the Chinese cities of Xi’an and Hangzhou. The airline began nonstop service in late May linking New York/Newark with Newcastle, U.K., and Athens, and linking Washington Dulles with Lisbon and Barcelona. On June 1, United launched its first-ever nonstop service between San Francisco and Singapore, the longest flight by a U.S. carrier. Service between San Francisco and Auckland begins in July.

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United to add Denver – Richmond flights

United Express-SkyWest Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N114SY (msn 17000410) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 930968.

United Airlines (Chicago) will add daily United Express Embraer 175 service (operated by SkyWest Airlines) between the Denver hub and Richmond, Virginia starting on April 5 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N114SY (msn 17000410) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

United Express-SkyWest aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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United Airlines updates the public on CEO Oscar Munoz’s medical condition

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United Airlines (Chicago) has announced that Oscar Munoz, the company’s president and CEO, underwent a heart transplant operation on January 6 and is in recovery. A transplant was considered the preferred treatment and was not the result of a setback in his recovery. The United team wishes Oscar well during his recovery, and expects him to return to United at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter.

The company later updated the CEO’s condition:

United Airlines announced that Oscar Munoz, the company’s president and CEO, is currently recovering well following the heart transplant he received on January 6, 2016. He is still expected to return from his previously announced medical leave at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter of 2016. Brett J. Hart will continue as the acting CEO until Munoz’s return.

In a letter to employees on November 5, 2015, Munoz stated that he expected to return full time in the first quarter of 2016. Since his heart attack on October 15, 2015, Munoz has been progressing well, with the assistance of an implanted medical device. A transplant was considered to be preferable to long-term reliance on the implanted device and was not the result of a setback in his recovery. Munoz had been cleared to return to work prior to the transplant. Since early December, Munoz had been gradually resuming company-related activities in collaboration with Hart, visiting with employees, and participating in meetings at the company’s headquarters.

Dr. Duc Pham, MD, Director of the Northwestern Medicine Heart Transplant Program, commented, “The surgical team was quite pleased with how the procedure went. The patient’s early course has been excellent, and the transplanted heart is functioning very well. We are very optimistic about his prospects for a complete recovery.”

“Given Mr. Munoz’s excellent physical condition and the rapid pace of his recovery prior to the transplant, we expect a quick recovery and a return to his duties as CEO,” said Patrick M. McCarthy, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgery for Northwestern Medicine.

“We wish Oscar well as he progresses on his road to recovery, and we look forward to his expected return,” said Henry L. Meyer III, non-executive chairman of the board of directors. “We take comfort in the prognosis for Oscar’s full recovery, based both on the report from his medical team and what we have learned about transplants from our own consulting cardiologist. We will, of course, be monitoring Oscar’s progress closely and both his and the board’s focus will be on the best interests of our shareholders. In the meantime, the board is working closely with Brett and the full executive team to continue delivering on our commitments to customers and employees.”

“I want to assure all of our customers, employees and partners that as Oscar completes his recovery, we remain focused on leading the company forward and implementing Oscar’s strategic vision,” said acting CEO, Hart.

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