United Airlines recently announced a handful of new summer routes, including new non-stop service from Washington Dulles to Honolulu and service from Denver to Fairbanks, Alaska.
Daily Service between Washington/Dulles and Honolulu
United will begin daily year-round service between Washington/Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Honolulu (HNL) on June 7, 2012, the only nonstop service between the two points. The flights will operate using Boeing 767-400 aircraft.
United, the largest carrier between the mainland U.S. and Hawaii, connects the Aloha State with eight mainland cities, as well as Tokyo, Guam and Majuro, offering nonstop service in 23 city pairs.
From its Dulles hub, United also offers more domestic and international service from the nation’s capital than any other airline.
New Summer Seasonal Flights from Denver, Houston and San Francisco
The airline will also add seasonal service to several popular summer travel destinations.
Alaska: New daily service between Denver (DEN) and Fairbanks, Alaska (FAI), will operate from June 7, 2012 through Aug. 27, 2012, using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Fairbanks offers access to Denali National Park, one of Alaska’s most visited destinations. The flights complement United’s existing Alaska service to Anchorage from hubs in Denver, Chicago, Houston and San Francisco, as well as Seattle.
South Dakota: United Express will offer daily seasonal service between Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Rapid City, S.D. (RAP), gateway to the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Park, from June 7, 2012, to Aug. 27, 2012. ExpressJet will operate the flights using Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft. United currently serves Rapid City from its Denver and Chicago hubs.
Wyoming: The airline will also add summer-season flights between its Houston and San Francisco (SFO) hubs and Jackson Hole, Wyo. (JAC), which attracts millions of summer visitors to nearby Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons. The Houston flights will operate twice-weekly from June 8, 2012, through Aug. 27, 2012, using Boeing 757 aircraft. The San Francisco flights will operate daily from July 1, 2012, through Aug. 27, 2012, as United Express, with Bombardier CR7 aircraft flown by SkyWest Airlines. These flights are in addition to United’s existing service to Jackson Hole from hubs in Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.
This year we willl go from one (Continental’s Newark-Honolulu service) to three flights from the East Coast to Honolulu (Hawaiian from JFK and United from IAD), making it easier than ever to get to the Islands. The move also underscores United’s commitment to Dulles, which makes me breath a big sigh of relief. With Newark and Dulles so close, there is a lingering chance we will see one station move to a de facto “focus city” status like Denver and Cleveland while maintaining its official “hub” status. But for now at least, we’ll see new service to Manchester, Dublin, and Honolulu and no let-up in the robust domestic and international schedules at Dulles. The Dulles-Paris and Dulles-Amsterdam routes are going to 757s, so we will have to monitor for 757 “creep.”
The Dulles-Honolulu flight will be operated by a Continental 767-400 and will not be part of the complimentary domestic upgrade program. It is not yet known whether the aircraft will feature the refurbished cabin with lie-flat seats in business class and Economy Plus or the old recliner seats. In any case, more options to Hawaii will be appreciated and the seats will be better than domestic first class…
The other new route of interest is Denver-Fairbanks, which will be operated by a Continental 737-800. Alaska is one of seven U.S. states I have not yet visited and Fairbanks, offering a gateway to Denali National Park, is much more appealing than flying to Anchorage.
New routes are always exciting–I look forward to seeing what else is in store for the new United.