United Airlines has extended its international routes to cover Lagos, Nigeria; Accra, Ghana; New Delhi & Bangalore, India; and Johannesburg, South Africa.
This was recently disclosed by the airline’s Vice President of International Network and Alliances, Patrick Quayle, via live and lets fly’, a travelers blog. According to the airline, it will add service to Lagos, Nigeria from its Washington Dulles hub, and it has worked with Boeing to address range issues with this new route on the 787-8.
He explained that Lagos is the largest gateway to West Africa, and the airline had operated service between Houston and Lagos for many years, but with the oil market depressed, Washington appeared to be a more lucrative opportunity.
He said, “The service will operate 3 times weekly starting next spring utilizing a 787-8. United will compete with Delta on the route, which offers service from New York JFK utilizing a 767-300.”
With a growing Ghanaian population in the greater Washington metro area, and a more fuel and passenger efficient 787-8 Dreamliner, United hopes Accra route will be a success.
“The service will operate 3x weekly starting next spring. United will compete with Delta on the route, which offers service from New York JFK utilizing a 767-300,” he added.
With South African Airways on life support, Quayle explained that United will add daily service between Newark and Johannesburg beginning in Spring 2021, and the move is expected to complement existing seasonal service to Cape Town. The flight will still utilize a 787-9
On Delhi route, United Airlines will take up the mantle of a long-time, but now abandoned American Airlines route. Chicago, United notes, has the second highest population of Indian Americans in the United States.
The new service will begin in December 2020 and utilize a 787-9.
In what United calls its most-requested international route, new nonstop service between San Francisco and Bangalore will connect Silicon Valley East with Silicon Valley West.
The new route will start in the Spring of 2021 and be operated by a Boeing 787-9.
While critics argued that United’s move at a time the world still battles COVID-19 pandemic could backfire, Quayle said:
“Now is the right time to take a bold step in evolving our global network to help our customers reconnect with friends, family, and colleagues around the world.”
He added that the new non-stop routes would provide shorter travel times, and convenient one-stop connections from across the United States, demonstrating United’s continued innovative, and forward-looking approach to rebuilding our network to meet the travel needs of our customers.