By Charlotte Seet
United Airlines Expands London Heathrow Network
The month of October has been a rather busy one for United Airlines, as the great news of route expansions and travel just kept on coming much to the delight of its passengers.
From having announced its biggest-ever transatlantic network expansion to just recently unveiling a new regional shuttle service in the Northeast, United Airlines is certainly proving that it is capable of beating whatever odds the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt it with.
And the good news just keeps on coming as the Star Alliance member declared that it would be expanding its London network, by adding five new flights to London’s Heathrow International Airport, one of which will be a newly launched service.
The new Boston-London route was previously announced for a possible launch back in February, but the consistent wave of infections in the two countries meant that the intention would have to be delayed. With better times ahead, United Airlines has decided that the time to launch the Boston-London route is now and so starting from March 2022, the new route will fly from United’s Boston hub in Logan International Airport to London’s Heathrow.
Offered as a daily non-stop service, the new route will be operated on the airline’s Polaris-featured Boeing 767-300ER, departing from Boston at 10:00 p.m and arriving in London the following morning at 09:35 a.m. Currently, United Airlines only offers seven daily flights connecting the U.S and London and this is due to an increase to 10 daily flights by December.
While Boston-London covers one of the five added flights to England’s capital city, various other routes such as Chicago-London and Newark-London will be having increased frequencies as well. And by the coming spring, the Chicago-based carrier will also be resuming flight services for its Denver-London route with the addition of a second daily flight, and will be operating using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The bulking continues with an added sixth and seventh daily flight from Newark Liberty International Airport, which will grow to an hourly service in the evening and will once again be operating using the airline’s premium 767-300ER.
Finally, United Airlines will add a third daily flight from San Francisco International Airport and resume daily flight service connecting between Los Angeles and London. The expansion will mean that United will offer a total of 22 flights per day between the U.S and London, and more flights between New York City and London as compared to any other U.S carrier.
In regards to the London expansion, United Airlines cites that the capital city was the highest booked international destination for the airline’s business passengers in October, and will be expecting the trend to continue into the next year.
With the rise in demand for business as of late, it makes sense that a good percentage of the London expansion includes the use of the airline’s premium 767-300ER aircraft, allowing for its passengers to enjoy the Polaris features.
“For nearly 30 years, United has provided a critical link between the U.S. and London, maintaining service throughout the pandemic and strategically growing our schedule to keep our customers in these key global business centers connected,” said Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of international network and alliances at United, in a press release.
Quayle went on by saying, “London is an integral part of United’s network and we remain confident demand will continue to grow, particularly as international business travel returns in 2022.”
Whilst the intense focus on premium capacities might carry some risk due to the difference in prices when compared to a normal capacity, but United plans to allow for MileagePlus Premier members to redeem their miles or be upgraded to the premium cabins.
And considering that the airline is mainly tapping into the business group of passengers, alongside the fact that Boston-London is quite a heavily congested route, the airline is planning to further uphold its game plan by reopening the United Polaris lounges in Newark, Chicago O’Hare and Houston by the end of this year.
The remaining lounges are scheduled to reopen by early 2022 to coincide with the planned expansion, allowing for passengers to enjoy premium access, once again emphasizing United’s focus on premium services.