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United is Adding Flights to 5 Major Cities, Starting Today

The carrier aims its move at meeting ultra-hot traveler demand.

When the pandemic nearly shut down the entire commercial air travel industry over two years ago, it might have been hard to imagine a time when demand would again be so hot that airlines would have to make big—even risky-seeming—moves to meet it. But that's where we are now—and United Airlines just kicked off a big expansion aimed at grabbing the business of travelers determined to see the world again. Read on to learn about United's latest rollout and how it could affect your summer vacation plans.

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Airlines across the industry have added routes to meet white-hot traveler demand.

travelview / Shutterstock

To meet the soaring demand for air travel, various airlines are adding routes to beef up their schedules. For instance, the JetBlue and American Airlines' regional Northeast Alliance will offer nearly 500 daily departures from the three major airports in the New York metro area, as well as 200 daily departures from Boston.

As part of the growth, American announced plans to launch new nonstop service between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, in June—which will make it the only U.S.-based airline to offer flights to the Middle East destination. The same month, JetBlue also plans to launch its first-ever Canadian route with new nonstop service between New York's Kennedy airport and Vancouver.

Last fall, United announced it would add five new international destinations to its flight offerings this summer. And it's finally time to kick off those big plans.

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United is launching its new international routes beginning today.

united plane in the sky

United Airlines is gearing up to serve five new international destinations, all of which are geared toward the leisure traveler who wants to get off the well-beaten trails.

The new flights will serve Amman, Jordan (AMM), Ponta Delgada (PDL) in Portugal's Azores, Bergen, Norway (BGO), and Palma de Mallorca (PMI) and Tenerife (TFS), Spain. The first among the routes in the expansion plan are set to fly today.

All of the new routes represent a departure from the norm, an indication of the strong demand for international leisure travel.

United Airlines Boeing 747 jumbo jet airliner taking off from Sydney Airport.

None of the new routes have historically been ultra-popular destinations for American travelers so far. But the hot demand changed the calculus, The Points Guy notes. Routes were already available to the heavily trodden destinations like London and Paris, so carriers are getting creative with farther-flung destinations. The travel outlet notes that leisure travel has come roaring back, while business travel still lags. And while some parts of the world, such as countries in Asia, are still closed to travelers, demand from the U.S. to open countries, such as ones in Europe, remains strong.

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United is increasing passenger capacity to meet strong demand, too.

United Airlines (Star Alliance) aircraft - Denver International Airport

Last month, the airline said that it plans to boost transatlantic passenger-carrying capacity by 25 percent compared with pre-pandemic levels. Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of United's international network, explained that the move would be the biggest single transatlantic increase the carrier has ever made. "We will be the largest carrier across the transatlantic," Quayle told CBS News.

The outlet also noted that United had scheduled more passenger-carrying capacity to Europe in June and July than its nearest competitors, even before this latest expansion announcement. Indeed, it already offered 15 percent more than Delta Air Lines and 36 percent more than American Airlines, according to data from research firm Cirium cited by CBS.

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Alesandra Dubin
Alesandra Dubin is a lifestyle editor and writer based in Los Angeles. Read more
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