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United adds eight new Caribbean and Central American routes



United Airlines is adding eight new routes and increasing flights to 19 destinations across the Caribbean and Central America this winter. The airline specifically goes after leisure travelers looking for a sunny getaway with new direct flights.

United LaGuardia Getty
United Airlines is adding new Central American routes and increasing frequencies for winter leisure travel. Photo: Getty Images

Eight new routes

United Airlines adds eight new direct routes starting in December:

  1. Los Angeles (LAX) to San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO) [Saturday-only service starting on December 19th, daily from January 5th]
  2. LAX to San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP) [three-times weekly service from December 17th]
  3. Denver (DEN) to Belize City, Belize (BZE)
  4. IT to SEA
  5. Washington-Dulles (IAD) to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ)
  6. Cleveland (CLE) and Cancun (CUN)

From January, United will add two new direct routes to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR) to LAX and San Francisco (SFO). Service from SFO is only on Saturday and starts on 9 January. From Los Angeles, flights run three times a week from January 8th.

United fly getty
Cleveland to Cancun will target origin and destination travelers. Photo: Getty Images

Patrick Quayle, United’s Vice President of the International Network and Alliances, stated in a press release:

“These eight new routes highlight the continued expansion of our network and build on our strong presence in Latin America. Our new and expanded service gives travelers more opportunities to find excursions in warm weather and visit friends and family during the winter season. ”

This news comes as the airline is adding enhanced services to 40 new beach routes this year and wants to resume transcontinental flights from New York-JFK as soon as next year and add seven new long-haul flights to India, Hawaii and Africa.

Rising services to new Mexican destinations

In addition to Cleveland and Cancun direct flights, United is increasing services across the board to Mexico. From Houston, it will restart services to Mazatlán (MZT) from December 19th. The remainder of the increases are on existing services.

From Chicago (ORD), United is expanding services to Cozumel (CZM), San Jose del Cabo (SJD) and Puerto Vallarta (PVR). Outside Denver International Airport (DEN), United is increasing the frequency to CUN, CZM, SJD and PVR.

United LAX
United Airlines is growing out of Los Angeles, where it sees an opening. Photo: Getty Images

From Houston (IAH), United is adding new aircraft to Acapulco (ACA), CUN, CZM, SJD, PVR and Zihuatanejo (ZIH).

From Los Angeles comes increased services to CUN, SJD and PVR. The same routes will also see increased services out of Newark (EWR).

In addition, United is increasing both San Francisco and Washington-Dulles flights to Cancun.

Several Caribbean and Central American aircraft

From December 17, United will start their aforementioned route to Santo Domingo. It will offer ten direct destinations in the Caribbean, including Punta Cana, Grand Cayman, Nassau, Montego Bay, Aruba, Turks and Caicos Islands and San Juan. There is also service to St. Thomas and St. Maarten out of Washington-Dulles. The company also flies to San Jose, Costa Rica and Cancun, Mexico, from IAD. San Salvador (SAL) flights run twice a day.

Out of Denver, in addition to United’s Belize and Costa Rica flights, Denver will continue to see service to Liberia, Costa Rica and Nassau, Bahamas.

United 737
Denver and Washington-Dulles get new Caribbean flights. Photo: Getty Images

Outside of Los Angeles, United increases its flights to Guatemala City (GUA) to ten times a week. For SAL, the airline’s flights increase to eleven weekly flights.

United’s growth

Houston, Chicago and Denver are United’s most effective hubs. These airports traditionally have a higher proportion of domestic passengers going from the east coast, the Midwest and the Southeast to the mountain west and west coasts and vice versa.

The coastal hubs of Newark, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington-Dulles have their respective advantages, but these hubs have the best connecting passengers on long-haul flights. However, Dulles is also a good gateway to the Caribbean. With most of United’s passengers coming from domestic cities throughout America, these are pretty good hubs to try these new routes out of.

Right now, with plenty of available flights and a desperate need for passengers – most of whom travel for leisure – United Airlines is trying to capture as large a share of these travelers as possible, which will translate into as large a share of revenue as possible. It is also a time when the operator can take some risks without allowing for additional revenue elsewhere given the markedly suppressed demand for travel.

Are you going to fly with any of these new United routes? Let us know in the comments!


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