United will add Palermo, Sicily; Nice, France; and Curacao
to its international route network.
The new destinations are part of an international buildup by
United in "premium leisure," said United vice president of
international network Patrick Quayle.
United will fly the seasonal service to all three
destinations from its Newark hub. Saturday-only winter Curacao service begins
Dec. 7, while daily Nice and Palermo service will begin May 2 and May 20,
respectively. United is launching the Nice service in time for the start of the
Cannes Film Festival on May 12. The Palermo flights will be the only nonstop
connection between the U.S. and Sicily.
In a fourth new international route announced Thursday,
United will fly daily year-round between Chicago O’Hare and Zurich beginning
March 28 -- its fourth Zurich route. The carrier also will extend its summer
seasonal service between Denver and London Heathrow and between San Francisco
and New Delhi into year-round routes beginning this winter. And, United will
increase frequencies to twice daily on Newark-Amsterdam and Newark-Frankfurt
service beginning in March.
United has added 26 international routes in the last 2-and-a-half
years, Quayle said. United won’t cut any transatlantic service to make room for
the new European routes, he added. Instead, the routes will be supported by new
Quayle said United’s ongoing retrofit project for Boeing
767-300ERs is also facilitating the carrier’s expansion strategy into upscale
international leisure markets. The retrofitted planes have just 167 seats
compared with the 214 seats they had before the reconfiguration.
Premium seat numbers, however, are well up on the aircraft,
including an addition of 16 Polaris business-class seats, which brings the
total Polaris count to 46.