Anticipating winter demand, United adds nearly 150 ‘warm-weather destinations’


(NEXSTAR) – United Airlines is expecting the demand for winter travel to soar. On Friday, the Chicago-based carrier announced the addition of nearly 150 new flights to “warm-weather destinations” across the country, along with new flights to destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America.

United further noted that its new winter schedule offers more total flights than its 2019 schedule—both domestically and internationally—in anticipation of increased interest in holiday travel.

“Celebrating the holidays with family and loved ones in 2020 was a challenge, and we know our customers are already eager to plan winter vacations and gatherings in person this year to make up for time that they lost,” said Ankit Gupta, vice president of network planning at United, in a media release. “As pandemic restrictions ease, people are becoming more confident in planning travel further in advance, so we want to make sure to offer our customers as much choice as possible.”

United’s winter schedule includes additional daily flights out of several major airports to such destinations as Florida, California, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, and Nevada. New flights from U.S. airports will also depart for Belize City, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico; Liberia, Costa Rica, and Nassau, Bahamas.

United Airlines might have the right idea, too. The number of travelers taking to the skies is steadily increasing, according to throughput data published by the TSA. Daily passenger volume at the nation’s TSA checkpoints has reached over 2 million on more than a dozen occasions since the beginning of June. Before June, however, the TSA hadn’t recorded a single day with over 2 million travelers since March 2020.

Prior to United’s latest announcement, the carrier had also confirmed an order for 270 jets to replace some of its older fleet, and to grow its operations.

“This move underscores the critical role United plays in fueling the broader U.S. economy,” said United CEO Scott Kirby in a statement included with a June press release announcing the order. “We expect the addition of these new aircraft will have a significant economic impact on the communities we serve in terms of job creation, traveler spending, and commerce.”

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