United Is Cutting Flights From These 6 Cities, Effective Immediately
The airline is dropping various routes of service throughout this year.
Air travel has had a difficult past few years amid the pandemic. From new requirements like mask wearing to bans on alcohol, major U.S. airlines have made a lot of adjustments to keep up with the spread of COVID. Another universal change has been the introduction of flight cuts. In December, United Airlines decided to cut 14 flights from Washington D.C., while Delta Air Lines just dropped numerous Atlanta flights throughout December and January. Now, United is bringing about immediate cuts to flights from six different cities. Read on to find out what routes were just axed from this airline's service.
United is cutting international flights from six different U.S. cities until March.
United has just dropped a number of international flight routes from its schedule, Simple Flying reported on Jan. 29. According to flight analytics service Cirium, six different cities are getting their routes cut: Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, and San Francisco. Both Denver and Honolulu won't start flying to Tokyo until March 26, while flights from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Tokyo, and Stockholm will now also be delayed until this date. Houston's flights to Amsterdam and Munich have been cut through March 26 as well, while service from Newark to Munich and Tokyo has been delayed until this day. The final cuts through this March date will occur from San Francisco to Melbourne and Tokyo.
Some cities are getting flights cut for longer than this.
Flight cuts for some cities are being extended even longer than May, however. From Houston, flights to Havana and Managua have been cut through October and until September, respectively. Newark is losing flights to Stockholm and Hong Kong through the end of May, and flights to Havana and Lima through October. And then San Francisco service to Auckland and Hong Kong has been cut until the end of May and July.
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Demand and travel restrictions are fueling these flight cancellations.
According to Simple Flying, United Airlines has pulled these flights as a result of both travel restrictions in various countries and low demand. "Many of these cuts are not surprising. Markets like Auckland, Melbourne, Tokyo, and Hong Kong have not announced plans to reopen for foreign tourists, which is the primary driver of demand on these routes," the flying news outlet reported.
The airline might continue to pare down service in the coming months, but the company appears optimistic about its summer in Europe—which might explain why most of the cuts occur only until March. Andrew Nocella, United's chief commercial officer, told investors on a fourth-quarter earnings call that the airline was "booked ahead from a passenger and revenue perspective" in the European market from March onwards, per Simple Flying.
United's CEO has warned that Omicron will delay travel recovery.
United Airlines' CEO Scott Kirby has been warning about the toll that Omicron is taking on the travel industry. After a hit to its first-quarter revenue because of the variant, the airline lowered its 2022 growth forecast, noting that it would fly less this year than it did in 2019, CNBC reported. This means the airline is getting rid of its earlier plans to increase 2022 flight capacity by 5 percent from pre-pandemic levels.
"The United team has been fighting through unprecedented obstacles to, once again, overcome the new and daunting challenges that COVID-19 is bringing to aviation, and I am grateful to each one of them for their commitment to taking care of our customers," Kirby recently said in an earnings release call. "Omicron is impacting near term demand, we remain optimistic about the spring and excited about the summer and beyond."