DALLAS – Legacy carrier United Airlines (UA) has announced that starting May 2023, it will expand its European route network to three capital cities: Prague (Czechia), Stockholm (Sweden), and Berlin (Germany), all on daily services.
All these services are due to originate from Newark Liberty Airport (EWR), New Jersey, using Boeing 757-200’s and 767-300’s, reflecting the predicted demand for these respective services.
United has carved a niche out for itself in Europe as the American airline that flies all over the continent. It operates or has operated in cities such as Bergen, Belfast, Newcastle, Lisbon, and Porto, among others. It also began direct flights to Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife in Spain in June of this year.
The Prague and Berlin services were originally due to begin in the summer of 2022, with Prague being served from Newark, and Berlin being served from Washington DC. However, these plans were shelved in March this year.
The response from United was as follows: “United makes regular adjustments to our schedule in response to a number of factors, including demand, costs, and resources.” It’s not unreasonable to suggest that the same logic applies to the reinstatement of these routes.
The airline did previously operate to all three of these destinations, but flights were cut in light of the travel downturn in recent years.
United Flies to Cape Town
In addition to the European expansion, UA is now set to fly nonstop from Washington Dulles (IAD) to Cape Town (CPT) starting on November 17, 2022. This will complement their existing route from EWR to CPT. The service will operate three times a week, using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
A United spokesperson stated that “We are thrilled to further expand our Africa offering with this first-ever direct link between Washington DC and Cape Town. These new flights build upon our existing year-round New York / Newark to Cape Town service – together they’ll provide a near-daily pattern from the US to Cape Town along with connectivity to the broader region through our Airlink partnership. “
All airlines in the United States have limited African networks; however, UA’s is the most expansive, with four destinations (Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lagos, and Accra) in three countries (South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana). Delta Air Lines (DL) has four, but one counts as a stopover on a longer route, and American Airlines (AA) has none presently.
Flying to the US from Africa directly is largely done with airlines in Africa, such as Ethiopian Airlines (ET), Kenya Airways (KQ), or Royal Air Maroc (AT), all of which are members of notable airline alliances.
While largely inconsequential in the grander scheme of things, this reestablishes United as the premier American carrier operating between North America and Africa.
Featured image: United Airlines N57111 Boeing 757-200. Photo: Luke Ayers / Airways