By Benjamin Pham
United Grows Northeast Footprint with Newark to D.C. Shuttle Service
The clash with the persistent, ongoing COVID-19 ordeal disrupted and reconstructed the airline industry, which forced several major carriers to adjust their operations and adapt. However, with the subsequent push for vaccinations and more research for booster shots, some airlines strive to capture as much of the existing passenger travel demand — which is gradually recovering and rising to higher levels — as possible, as they continue to execute their respective plans for recovery and turning a profit while minimizing costs.
United’s climb towards recovery from the COVID-19 complication continues to lead to a broad expansion and progress as the carrier announced a brand new regional shuttle service in the Northeast, as part of its 78 percent increase in flight operations from the region — compared to the height of the ordeal.
On Oct. 31, the notable Star Alliance carrier plans to begin a new regional shuttle service — operating nearly an hour apart — between Newark, N.J. and Washington, DC’s Reagan National Airport. United’s Bombardier CRJ-550s — operated by regional carrier GoJet — will be operating the 18 daily flight services between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.
The carrier has also scheduled five new daily flights between New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Washington’s Dulles Airport — an accompaniment to the airline’s five existing flights already operating from Newark. In addition, at the end of the month, the Chicago-based carrier will also place its new Boeing 737 MAX 8s on 22 daily flights out of the New York City area.
Newark is United’s primary northeast hub for flight operations from the east coast — with Dulles Airport complementing the route network — and the carrier seems to not be hesitant of making the point transparent. The carrier’s decision to unveil the regional shuttle flights follows its announcement of several new transatlantic routes.
In Summer 2022, the airline plans to fly from Newark to Amman, JO; Bergen, NO; Palma De Mallorca, ES and the Portuguese Azores, among a couple of other new destinations in United’s long-haul route network. The carrier’s network expansion is instrumental in not only maintaining Newark’s hub status but also potentially securing a speedy recovery from previous losses due to the ongoing pandemic.
Clearly, United has a strategy for overcoming the challenges and effects that mounted from the duration of the COVID-19 predicament. It is important for the airline to continue monitoring travel restrictions, as it adjusts its flight operations to accommodate the peaks in passenger travel demand.