MIAMI — United Airlines will launch daily flights between its Denver hub and London Heathrow. The route will be operated by the 787-8 Dreamliner and is the first European route flown by United from Denver.
The announcement was first made to United employees at a meeting where United also celebrated 80 years of service in Denver.
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“For the last 80 years, United has played an integral role in serving the Denver region and helping Denver International become an essential hub connecting business and leisure travelers to destinations around the globe,” said Steve Jaquith, vice president of its Denver hub. “Our new service to London will provide more customers with convenient one-stop opportunities from markets that are served only through Denver, and we’re excited to bring this new service to the Mile High City.”
The London route will fill a big hole for United in Denver. Currently, the only long-haul route United offers from Denver is Tokyo-Narita. Already, United Star Alliance partner Lufthansa serves Frankfurt and Munich from Denver.
United will compete directly with British Airways on the London Heathrow route. Currently, British Airways flies the Boeing 747-400 to Denver. United’s route will run seasonally from March 24, 2018, through October 26, 2018, and is subject to government approval.
The flight will also compete with Norwegian Air, who recently announced that they will offer flights between London and Denver. Norwegian will also fly the 787 Dreamliner on this route but will fly to the less desired London Gatwick Airport instead of Heathrow.
The United 787-8 Dreamliner seats 219 passengers in a three-class configuration. The 787-8 features 36 flat-bed seats in United Polaris business class, 70 Economy Plus seats and 113 seats in United Economy.
“We are so appreciative of our partnership with United Airlines and beyond excited that they continue to grow in Denver with this new service to London Heathrow beginning next March,” said DEN CEO Kim Day. “These new flights will complement United’s successful nonstop service to Tokyo Narita, making United the only carrier to provide both transatlantic and transpacific flights from Denver.”
While United only flies one long-haul route with the 787 from Denver, it does fly several domestic routes with 787 from the airport. At peak times, United frequently has at least two 787 Dreamliners on the ground at DIA preparing for flights. Most domestic Dreamliner flights from Denver fly to Houston, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. The London flight will most likely continue on to Los Angeles or San Francisco after stopping in Denver.
The route is the latest in a series of route announcements for DIA. So far this year, Edelweiss Air announced service to Zurich, Norwegian Air announced service to London and Paris, Copa Airlines announced service to Panama City, and Frontier announced service to 21 destinations.