United Airlines takes off for Manila as northern winter schedule ramps up

by James Wilkinson

United Airlines has launched its international winter schedule for 2023-2024 in spectacular fashion with the debut this week (Oct 29), becoming the first United States carrier to fly direct from the continental United States to Manila in the Philippines.

This week, United also launched a new Los Angeles-Auckland Service (Oct 28), building on its position as the largest United States airline to serve Auckland, alongside a new Los Angeles-Hong Kong service (Oct 28), one of three daily flights to the city from Los Angeles and San Francisco, and resumed daily, direct services between Los Angeles and Tokyo/Narita.

With its existing service between Los Angeles-Tokyo/Haneda, United will now connect Los Angeles to both of Tokyo’s international airports.

The routes are part of 50 additional daily flights compared to last winter and the new Manila flights will soon be joined by services between San Francisco and Christchurch, New Zealand, starting this December.

United Airlines will also be the first United States airline to return to Beijing when service from San Francisco resumes on November 9.

In total, the airline will fly to more than 110 international destinations and grow its schedule by more than 25% versus last year, the largest winter expansion in its history, according to United’s Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances, Patrick Quayle.

“United’s industry-leading international network has always set it apart from the competition, and we continue to find new ways to bring our customers the locations and schedules that they want,” he said.

“This winter is no exception, as we further expand and deliver unparalleled connectivity around the globe.”

Quayle said to meet the growing demand for international travel, United strategically expanded its network with new and increased flying to key markets this winter, including new flights to Auckland, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Tokyo/Narita, San Juan and Montego Bay; daily service to Beijing and Shanghai; and extended service to Athens, Barcelona, Rome and Paris.

This year, he said United saw an unprecedented surge in Asia-Pacific travel demand and continues to rebuild its network across the Pacific to serve this sustained strength in the market.

The airline’s transpacific network is 94% larger this winter than last winter, with a historic expansion in the South Pacific, the rebuilding of its China network and the addition of 15 daily non-stop flights across the Pacific region.

“This will make United’s Asia-Pacific network larger than pre-COVID for the first time,” Quayle said.

He said United is in the midst of the largest South Pacific expansion in aviation history, adding over 40% more flights between the U.S. and Australia/New Zealand for the winter season, compared to last year.

This winter, United will operate 66 flights between the United States and Australia/New Zealand per week.

This includes the first and Only Non-Stop Flight between United States and Christchurch, New Zealand.

Starting December 8, United will be the only airline to offer direct flights between the United States and New Zealand’s South Island, with the first direct San Francisco-Christchurch service.

On November 29, United will become the largest carrier between the United States and Brisbane with its new service from Los Angeles.

United also continues to rebuild its network in mainland China. On October 1, the airline increased its service to Shanghai with a daily flight from San Francisco, and will resume its daily San Francisco-Beijing flights on November 9.

“Across the Pacific, United’s network this winter is 61% larger than all other United States airlines combined, with the airline adding service to key markets,” Quayle said.

With transatlantic demand remaining at a historic high, United is also extending some of its most popular seasonal routes to give customers more time to explore.

This winter, United customers can take advantage of the following additional nonstop flights:

-New York/Newark – Athens, Greece: extended through November 28
-Washington-Dulles – Barcelona, Spain: extended through December 13
-Washington-Dulles – Rome, Italy: extended through January 8
-Second daily New York/Newark – Paris, France: extended through January 8

In total, United will fly to 25 destinations across the Atlantic this winter, more than all other United States carriers combined, and will be the only United States carrier to offer year-round, non-stop service to Dubai, Geneva, Edinburgh, Berlin and Amman.

For customers looking for warm-weather getaways, United has expanded its network in Latin America and the Caribbean by 30% this winter compared to last year.

As part of its historic expansion out of Denver, the airline introduced two new Caribbean routes from the hub: Denver-San Juan, Puerto Rico launched on October 29 and Denver-Montego Bay, Jamaica launches on November 4.

United continues to add service from its hubs in Chicago, New York/Newark, and Washington-Dulles to destinations across the Caribbean, including Aruba, Bonaire, Grand Cayman Islands and The Bahamas.

The airline has also grown its network in Mexico by nearly 15%, compared to last winter and is now the largest carrier to the Riviera Maya region.

During the winter peak, United will offer more than 200 weekly flights to Cancun from eight U.S. cities, the most in its history, including daily flights from Cleveland as well as service on its Boeing 777 widebody aircraft from Chicago, Denver and Houston. United also is increasing service from San Francisco to top Mexico beach destinations, with up to two daily flights to Puerto Vallarta and San Jose del Cabo.

United remains the largest carrier to Central America and continues to grow. The airline is increasing service this winter to some of the most popular destinations in the region, including San Jose and Liberia, Costa Rica; San Salvador, El Salvador; Belize City, Belize and Guatemala City, Guatemala.