LONDON – United Airlines has unveiled a significant expansion strategy out of four of its bases across Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington for the Summer 2019 season.

This year has already seen the carrier introduce 93 routes across the U.S., 15 of which were international. These new routes are to join up with the 78 domestic services already announced this year.

Ankit Gupta, United’s VP of Domestic Network Planning and Scheduling stated that this is part of “our commitment to building a global network with destinations where our customers want to fly”.

Seven in Chicago

Chicago features the biggest expansion out of the four airports. The carrier will see seven new routes from O’Hare (ORD) next year.

First is Chicago-Destin on Saturdays and Sundays using its CRJ200 aircraft, connecting the two cities sufficiently for weekend hops.

The second is to Durango in Colorado, which will only run on a once weekly basis on Saturdays using its slightly larger CRJ7s.

Panama City Beach and Grand Junction will, too, join the portfolio on a weekend basis on Saturdays and Sundays using the CRJ7s and CRJ2s.

The daily, year-round and summer services to the likes of Eugene, Nova Scotia, and Redmond will operate using the E175 aircraft in the fleet.

Connecting/Feeding Strategy

Only two new routes will be launched out of Houston, with a Saturday service to Durango being operated via an Embraer E175.

The E175 will also make an appearance into Ontario on a daily, year-round service, boosting the North-South connectivity element to Houston.

Ontario will benefit from onward connection into Los Angeles and Long Beach via transfer, meaning that positioning is key for passenger numbers.

Los Angeles will be receiving a brand new daily-year round service to Stockton using the CRJ200 from August 20 next year.

Both the inbound and outbound flights offer suitable departure and arrival times for both the business and leisure travelers.

Washington-Dulles also came in with only one new service. This time to Traverse City, which will operate on a Saturday flight using its Embraer E145 aircraft.

In all, this is a significant expansion strategy across the U.S. for United. These 11 new routes, like how American have unveiled with 28 new routes this week is all about traffic feeding and strategic positioning.

It will be certainly interesting to see how the new routes fare and if any compete with American, who comes out strongest in terms of passenger numbers and revenue.