United Adds Eight New Caribbean And Central American Routes

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United Airlines is adding eight new routes and increasing flights to 19 destinations across the Caribbean and Central America this winter. The airline is specifically going after leisure travelers looking for a sunny getaway with new nonstop flights.

United Airlines is adding new Central American routes and increasing frequencies for winter leisure travel. Photo: Getty Images

Eight new routes

United Airlines is adding eight new nonstop routes starting from December:

  1. Los Angeles (LAX) to San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO) [Saturday-only service starting on December 19th, daily from January 5th]
  2. LAX to San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP) [three-times weekly service from December 17th]
  3. Denver (DEN) to Belize City, Belize (BZE)
  4. DEN to SJO
  5. Washington-Dulles (IAD) to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ)
  6. Cleveland (CLE) and Cancun (CUN)

From January, United is adding two new nonstop routes to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR) to LAX and San Francisco (SFO). Service from SFO is Saturday-only and will start on January 9th. From Los Angeles, flights will run three times a week from January 8th.

United plane getty
Cleveland to Cancun will target origin and destination travelers. Photo: Getty Images

Patrick Quayle, United’s Vice President of International Network and Alliances, stated the following in a press release:

“These eight new routes highlight the continued expansion of our network and build upon our strong presence in Latin America. Our new and increased service offers travelers more opportunities to find warm-weather getaways and visit friends and family over the winter season.”

This comes as the airline is adding increased services to 40 new beach routes this year, looking to resume transcontinental flights from New York-JFK as soon as next year, and adding seven new long-haul routes to India, Hawaii, and Africa.

Increasing services to new Mexican destinations

In addition to the Cleveland and Cancun nonstop flights, United is increasing services across the board to Mexico. From Houston, United is restarting services to Mazatlán (MZT) from December 19th. The remainder of the increases are on existing services.

From Chicago (ORD), United is increasing services to Cozumel (CZM), San Jose del Cabo (SJD), and Puerto Vallarta (PVR). Out of Denver International Airport (DEN), United is increasing frequencies to CUN, CZM, SJD, and PVR.

United LAX
United Airlines is growing out of Los Angeles, where it sees an opening. Photo: Getty Images

From Houston (IAH), United is adding new flights to Acapulco (ACA), CUN, CZM, SJD, PVR, and Zihuatanejo (ZIH).

From Los Angeles, increased services are coming to CUN, SJD, and PVR. The same routes will also see increased services out of Newark (EWR).

In addition, from both San Francisco and Washington-Dulles, United is increasing flights to Cancun.

More Caribbean and Central American flights

From December 17th, United will start their aforementioned route to Santo Domingo. United will offer ten nonstop destinations in the Caribbean, including Punta Cana, Grand Cayman, Nassau, Montego Bay, Aruba, Turks and Caicos, and San Juan. There is also service to St. Thomas and St. Maarten out of Washington-Dulles. United also flies to San Jose, Costa Rica, and Cancun, Mexico, from IAD. San Salvador (SAL) flights will run two times per day.

Out of Denver, in addition to United’s Belize and Costa Rica flights, Denver will continue to see service to Liberia, Costa Rica, and Nassau, Bahamas.

United 737
Denver and Washington-Dulles are getting new Caribbean flights. Photo: Getty Images

Out of Los Angeles, United is increasing its flights to Guatemala City (GUA) to ten times per week. To SAL, United’s flights increase to eleven weekly flights.

United’s growth

Houston, Chicago, and Denver are United’s top-performing hubs. These airports traditionally get a higher share of domestic passengers going from the East Coast, Midwest, and Southeast to the Mountain West and West Coast and vice versa.

The coastal hubs in Newark, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington-Dulles have their respective advantages, but those hubs do best connecting passengers on long-haul international flights. Dulles, however, is also a great gateway to the Caribbean. With most of United’s passengers originating from domestic cities across America, these are pretty good hubs to try these new routes out of.

Right now, with plenty of idle aircraft and a desperate need for passengers– most of whom are traveling for leisure– United Airlines is trying to capture as large a share of those travelers as possible, which will translate to as large of a share of revenue as possible. It is also a time when United can take some risks without passing up the potential for extra revenue elsewhere, given the significantly repressed demand for travel.

Are you going to fly any of these new United routes? Let us know in the comments!

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