United Airlines (UAL) yesterday reported second-quarter 2022 financial results. The company achieved the highest second-quarter revenue in its history, delivering its first profitable quarter since COVID-19 began, despite record-high fuel prices. Read the rest of this entry »
Updated May 17th 10:41 PM. United to resume service of 777 fleet pending final approval
United Airlines suspended seven of its long-haul flights in June citing a diminished number of aircraft resulting from the grounding of their Boeing 777’s after an engine disintegration showered a Denver community with debris. Read the rest of this entry »
Starting this June, United will be the only U.S. carrier to offer nonstop service between Melbourne and the United States
United announced this week the return of its nonstop service between San Francisco and Melbourne, beginning with three weekly flights this June. The restart of this route complements United’s existing service between Sydney and the airline’s hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles. United will now be the only U.S. airline to offer nonstop flights from the United States to Melbourne.
“The fact that we retained daily passenger service to Australia throughout the lowest points of the pandemic – and were the only airline to do so – shows our commitment to Australia,” said Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of international network and alliances at United. “We are thrilled to resume our San Francisco to Melbourne service and see a bright future ahead for United, for Melbourne, and for US-Australia travel.”
Since Australia announced in February that the country would open its borders to international travelers after being closed for nearly two years, there has been remarkable growth in travel demand from the U.S. United has more capacity from the United States to Australia than any other U.S. carrier, and the resumption of the airline’s San Francisco–Melbourne service will provide customers with even more access to Australia ahead of the busy summer travel period. Additionally, United’s recently announced commercial alliance with Virgin Australia will offer further connectivity to top Australian destinations with convenient one-stop flights.
United has worked closely with the Victorian government on the resumption of this service, as well as on broader plans for the market as demand continues to grow.
“We’re backing more direct international flights to Melbourne because we know the critical role they play in supporting Victorian businesses and creating jobs,” said Martin Pakula, Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery. “Having more direct flights from the U.S. means it is even easier for visitors to come to Victoria and enjoy everything we are famous for – whether that’s our major sporting events, food scene, or cultural institutions.”
United began offering direct service to Melbourne from Los Angeles in 2014 and launched nonstop flights between San Francisco and Melbourne in October of 2019, prior to the onset of the pandemic.
United has announced that it will be increasing the number of flights it offers between the United States and Europe in response to increased demand for travel between the two continents with the resurgence in travel.
The airline is planning to raise trans-Atlantic capacity by 25 % this summer compared with 2019 despite rising fuel prices and the Ukraine crisis. According to Patrick Quayle, United’s senior vice president of the international network, it was the airline’s largest single transatlantic increase in history.
Bergen, Norway; Amman, Jordan; the Canary Islands, and Portugal’s Azores are among the new destinations announced by United Airlines. United is adding to its network of flights, including to London, Zurich, Munich, Milan, and Nice, France.
Also, United delayed three new routes — because of a pilot shortage. The airline has been in a protracted contract dispute with its pilots. The pilots have been working without a contract since their last one expired at the end of 2012. The union has been in contract negotiations with the airline for more than two years and has been without a contract since the last one expired at the end of 2012.
Residual effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to create some reluctance for international travelers. The US now requires a negative Covid test for all passengers traveling from Europe. “We are still in the midst of a pandemic, which has resulted in significant travel restrictions and reduced demand,” Quayle said. But as more people are vaccinated and case numbers fall in the US and Europe, the airline sees a “pent-up demand for travel.” “We are encouraged by the progress being made in the vaccination efforts in the U.S. and Europe,” Quayle said, “and we are hopeful that travel will continue to rebound as we approach the summer.”
Given these difficulties, Quayle says there has been no decrease in demand. However, he noted that there could impact demand for United’s partner Lufthansa’s flights to towns further east in nations like Poland and Romania. United is also seeing “strong” demand for more expensive products like its Polaris business class and premium economy class for trans-Atlantic flights.