Chicago-based United Airlines is adding five new transatlantic destinations in Spring 2022 as it prepares for a potential bounce back in summer travel between the United States and Europe next year.
The expansion would be the largest transatlantic expansion in the company’s history and includes destinations in Spain, Portugal, Norway, the Spanish Canary Islands and Jordan.
“Given our big expectations for a rebound in travel to Europe for summer, this is the right time to leverage our leading global network in new, exciting ways,” Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of international network and alliances at United, said in a Thursday news release.
United will be the first North American carrier to fly to the five new destinations.
- Bergen, Norway: Starting May 20, United will offer flights three times a week between New York/Newark and Bergen on a Boeing 757-200.
- Azores, Portugal: Flights between New York/Newark and Ponta Delgada in the Azores begin May 13 with a new Boeing 737 MAX 8. This will be United’s third Portuguese destination, along with flights to Porto (which return in March) and Lisbon (which are being operated from New York and are set to resume from Washington, D.C. next summer).
- Palma de Mallorca, Spain: Travelers can fly from New York/Newark to the beach destination in the Balearic Islands in a Boeing 767-300ER starting June 2. United will offer flights three times a week.
- Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands: United is set to launch a new flight from New York/Newark to the Tenerife on June 9, offering service three times a week via a Boeing 757-200.
- Amman, Jordan: Flights from Washington, D.C. to Amman begin May 5 with service three-times-weekly with a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
Tickets for Bergen, Azores, Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife go on sale Thursday, and Amman tickets should follow soon after.
The airline is also adding new flights to five European destinations (Berlin, Dublin, Milan, Munich and Rome) “in anticipation of a resurgence in visitors” and relaunching seven routes that had been paused during the pandemic to Bangalore, Frankfurt, Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, Nice and Zurich, all of which are subject to government approval.
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The expansion would follow the launch of a new air travel system in the U.S. in early November that will ease travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nations.
While international flight capacity saw gains this year, it has a ways to go before catching up to pre-pandemic levels. International passenger demand dropped 76% between 2019 and 2020, the sharpest traffic decline in aviation history according to the International Air Transport Association.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.