US Airlines added a good number of routes. In recent weeks, airlines added more than 150 new routes to cater to travel-deprived travelers. These routes include cities that were previously hard to travel to hoping to stimulate new markets.
This is a surprising move considering business travel remained low. But perhaps, the airline industry is banking on the latest uptick in air travel because of spring break.
United Banking on Increased Travel Demand
United Airlines offered direct links from midtown cities to popular vacation destinations. By May, United Airlines will have 50-seat planes doing non-stop flights from Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Hilton Head, Portland, Maine, and Pensacola. Some of these cities are popular summer destinations.
United Airlines also announced more than two dozen new US routes geared for summer. This will include nonstop flights from Houston to Kalispell, Mon, and Chicago to Nantucket, Massachusetts. These flights will start from the Labor Day holiday in early September onwards.
United will also resume 20 of its US routes that have been suspended when the pandemic started. By doing so, this brings United’s domestic schedule up to 58% compared to its May 2019 schedule.
However, it isn’t just US routes that United is going to explore. The airline announced that it is looking to increase flights to Latin America by 100% of its pre-pandemic schedule. This includes more flights to Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
United Airline Vice President Ankit Gupta said that “in the past weeks, we have seen the strongest flight bookings since the start of the pandemic”
The airline’s goal is to get United’s schedule by 52% of its May 2019 schedule. That’s a 14% increase since May 2020’s numbers.
United chief executive Scott Kirby is optimistic about the current trajectory of travel demand. He said last week that the airline is going to stop burning cash by March. Just last Spring, United was reportedly burning approximately $40 million daily. In the last three months of 2020, it improved a bit losing $19 million daily.