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Signs of Hope: United Airlines Flies Back to pre-Pandemic Levels

Beginning of May, United Airlines announced to add more than 400 daily flights in July as another essential step to leave the pandemic behind. We take a closer look at United's pandemic recovery process.

United Sends Strong Signals of Recovery

United Airlines, and the entire U.S. airline industry, send out strong signs of recovery. Just a couple of weeks after United had announced to add 480 daily flights to their summer schedule, the airlines announced to add another 400 flights to their July schedule.

Back at 80% Compared to July 2019

That all together brings United back to pre-pandemic levels. In June, United plans to fly 67% of its domestic and 60% overall network. That clearly shows that international travel has some progress to make. However, based on rising leisure demand and additional domestic routes, United plans to be back at 80% overall network in July.

Domestic Traffic is Driving Recovery United Airlines’ Recovery!

A considerable portion of additional flights focuses on domestic routes — more precisely on domestic leisure routes. Therefore, United Airlines adds new routes to vacation destinations such as Yellowstone or Hawaii. And the numbers are pretty impressive: United will fly over 40 flights to the Hawaiian Islands on peak days in June and operate over 500 daily flights to 66 national park destinations.

At the same time, United expects an increase in ticket prices. United says it expects domestic leisure fares to be at or above 2019 levels. As a result, United’s domestic schedule is planned to reach 90% of its pre-COVID capacity in summer, summing up to a total of 3,500 daily flights.


United Airlines Recorded An Increase of Travel Bookings by 214% Compared to 2020

Of course, 2020 was one of the worst years United and the entire airline industry has ever witnessed. Therefore, comparisons with the horror year don’t make much sense. Nevertheless, the numbers perfectly reflect United’s rebound. When comparing travel bookings for June 2021 to  June 2020’s number, United recorded an increase of 214%.

When Will International Traffic Rise?

Despite the very positive signals, the question remains as to when the international traffic will resurrect. However, leisure travel plays an essential role in this segment too. United plans to “creatively adjust” its global network to meet the needs of its clients. Nevertheless, that also depends on vaccination progress, for example, in Europe. As a first step, United will add flights to Dubrovnik and Athens in July. Besides that, additional flights to Frankfurt, Spain, and Portugal are currently in the planning.

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The numbers presented in this article are based on various sources: United Airlines, Chicago Business, and internal data sources.

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Benjamin Walther

CEO, Frankfurt

Benjamin is Information Design's CEO and a proven content-maniac. Besides running a successful business and developing pioneering ideas, he's dedicated to writing blog posts and creating content.

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