Not even the latest woes affecting the aviation sector can stop United Airlines from fulfilling its ambitious post-Covid goals. In response to the current travel surge, the carrier is adding flights to 3 more European capitals, providing Americans with easier links to some of the world’s top city breaks.
After Europe’s busiest airports, including London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol, curbed the number of daily departures in order reduce air traffic congestion, it seemed unlikely United would be able to increase flight frequency and unleash its true potential. England and Holland may be off the table, for now, but most of Europe isn’t.
Here is everything you need to know about United’s latest move:
Travel Chaos Won’t Stop United From Expanding Further
United is having a busy 2022. Having launched 5 brand new flight routes in late April, and experiencing a strong rebound, curtailed only by the industry’s own staffing issues, they continue expanding into markets where demand is higher. That includes freedom-loving Europe, a vast continent of 44 countries where only a handful still have restrictions in place.
Interestingly, United is launching service exclusively to three European countries that removed all of their health-related travel rules. Starting May 2023, New Jersey/Newark-based travelers will be able to fly nonstop to Prague, Czech Republic, and Stockholm, Sweden. Additionally, Washingtonians are benefiting from a new air bridge to Berlin, Germany.
These three flights were meant to launch as early as this year, but due to the industry-wide setbacks, they were pushed back until 2023. Once they finally open simultaneously on May 25, frequency will be daily, making Newark-Prague, Newark-Stockholm, and Washington-Berlin some of United’s busiest routes.
Details are as follows:
Newark to Prague
- Outbound departs Newark daily at 18:05, arriving to Prague the next morning at 08:25 (8h20)
- Returning flights leave Prague every day at 10:10, landing in Newark 13:25 local time, same calendar date (9h15)
- Operated on a B767-300ERs
- 214 seats available – 30 Polaris, 46 Economy Plus, 138 Regular Economy
Newark to Stockholm
- Outbound takes off 17:15 local time, landing in Stockholm 07:25 the next day (8h10)
- Returning flights depart from Stockholm Arlanda at 9:10, arriving back to Newark at 11:55 (8h45)
- Operated on a B757-200ERs
- 169 seats available – 45 Economy Plus, 108 Economy
Washington-Dulles to Berlin
- Outbound scheduled for departure 17:45 daily, touching down at 8:20 the following day (8h35)
- On the way back, flights depart at 11:10, landing in Newark 14:30 (9h20)
- Operated on a B767-400ERs
- 240 seats available – 39 Polaris, 70 Economy Plus, 131 Economy
Why Prague, Stockholm And Berlin?
Why these specific destinations, one might wonder? To begin with, The Czech Republic is a strategic market for United. The carrier had inaugurated a seasonal service between Newark and Prague all the way back in June 2019, though its follow-up year obviously did not go ahead as planned due to the pandemic.
With capacity at 84% for the first season, the Newark-Prague link proved extremely successful for United, especially in August of that year, when 88% of seats were sold. As reported by Simple Flying, the booking data at the time suggested six in ten Prague-bound passengers traveling from the U.S. departed from Newark.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the service is being reinstated in time for summer 2023. Similarly, Stockholm is a seasonal route currently on hold due to Covid. In 2019, capacity was estimated at 86% with 36,472 tickets sold. As for the uncharted territory that is the Dulles-Berlin route, there are high expectations.
Berlin may be Germany’s capital, but it is home to its third busiest airport only. Usually, Americans arriving in Germany land in Frankfurt, the nation’s centrally-located financial center. Despite the obvious lack of a nonstop service, in 2019, Washington arrivals had become Berlin’s sixth-largest customers, proving there is a whole market to be explored.
It Will Be A Tough Pick Between These 3 Capitals
Prague is one of Europe’s prettiest capital cities. Its cityscape, dominated by the impressive medieval Prague Castle and the picturesque Charles Bridge, has been the subject of many artists and a filming location for countless films, the latest being Netflix’s The Gray Man. Once in Czechia, visitors are also free to explore lesser-known destinations in the country.
Those include Cesky Krumlov, a quaint town built alongside the scenic Vltava River where one of Europe’s most famous castles can be found, dating back to the 13th century, and the Gothic open-air museum that is Brno, the second largest city. Even better: as a Central European nation, the Czech Republic has direct links to numerous other destinations.
Train travel is much trendier now that airports are in turmoil, and Prague has multiple rail lines connecting it to cities in Germany, including Berlin and Dresden, Bratislava in Slovakia, Budapest in Hungary and many more. As for Berlin, it is a capital reborn after the last World War and the fall of the wall that kept it divided for nearly 30 years.
Famous for its modernist, post-War architecture that contrasts vividly against its medieval heritage, it features some of Germany’s most iconic landmarks. Here, visitors can learn of the country’s dark past visiting the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, see remnants of the Berlin Wall, and marvel at the neoclassical wonder that is the Brandenburg Gate.
Last but not least, Stockholm is a treasure waiting to be rediscovered as well: a world-class city that is at the heart of Scandinavia, it has been a sought-after destination for centuries due to its ochre-colored Old Town and small interconnected islets. Fortunately, Sweden is open for tourism with no travel restrictions – much like Czechia and Germany.
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