United commemorates 30 years of connecting Washington Dulles Hub to the world

Courtesy: United Airlines.

Courtesy: United Airlines.

In May 1986, United Airlines commenced hub operations at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) with 58 departures serving 24 destinations. Today, the airline celebrates three decades of serving Dulles as a hub and more than 50 years serving the capital region, connecting customers to 83 global destinations with more than 200 departures, including capital-to-capital service to nearly 40 airports worldwide.

“Over the last 30 years, United has employed nearly 17,000 dedicated employees at IAD who have helped connect more than 500 million people through Washington Dulles to destinations around the globe,” said Jon Roitman, senior vice president of airport operations for United. “We are committed to providing our customers at IAD and throughout the world with an elevated travel experience, and we look forward to delivering unmatched service from the national capital region for decades to come.”

United remains focused on adding service to the places customers want to fly at the times they want to travel, and will launch two new daily seasonal routes from IAD to Barcelona and Lisbon on May 25. Additionally, United recently applied to serve Havana from Dulles – the only airline that would offer direct flights to the Cuban capital from the Washington, D.C. market.

Source: United Airlines.

United Airlines’ newest China route takes customers from the Golden Gate to the Silk Road

Courtesy: United Airlines.

Courtesy: United Airlines.

United Airlines continues to expand the number of cities it serves in interior China with the launch of new nonstop flights to Xi’an on Sunday, May 8. The flights from United’s Asia-Pacific gateway in San Francisco will be the first trans-Pacific service to Xi’an operated by any airline, and United will be the first U.S. airline to serve the city, a destination for commerce and tourism in the central region of China.

At the eastern end of the Silk Road, and with a population of more than 8 million, Xi’an is an important cultural, economic and educational center with facilities for research and development and China’s space exploration program. The plains surrounding Xi’an are home to the famed Terracotta Warriors, thousands of life-size, hand-molded figures buried with China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.

United will use the world’s most advanced passenger airplane, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, to operate the three-times-weekly service during the peak travel period between May 8 and Oct. 27, 2016 (westbound).

“United is celebrating our 30th anniversary of service linking the U.S. and China this year and there couldn’t be a better way to honor our proud and long-standing relationship than by being the first airline to offer customers nonstop trans-Pacific service to Xi’an,” said Marcel Fuchs, United’s vice president of Atlantic and Pacific sales. “United operates more nonstop U.S.-China flights, and to more cities in China, than any other airline and we expect the addition of flights to Xi’an to continue to create opportunities for trade and collaboration between our two countries throughout the U.S.-China Tourism Year and long into the future.”

Flight Schedule

The flights will depart San Francisco International Airport at 1:25 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and arrive in Xi’an at 5:30 p.m. the following days (all times local). The return flights will depart Xi’an’s Xianyang International Airport at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and arrive in San Francisco at 6:35 a.m. the same days. Flying times will be approximately 13 hours, 5 minutes westbound and 12 hours, 5 minutes eastbound.

Source: United Airlines.

United Airlines celebrates its 90th anniversary

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On this day, 90 years ago a company started offering airmail services from Pasco, Washington to Boise, Idaho with a Swallow aircraft. This marked the beginning of aviation firsts for United Airlines. Today, the airline operates an average of nearly 5,000 flights a day to 342 airports across six continents. United has connected more than 4 billion people to important business meetings, family festivities, new experiences and cultures, and, the most important, each other.

United is one of the founder airlines of Star Alliance, the first airline alliance of the world and the largest global airline alliance. The company is also the world’s largest airline when measured by number of destinations served, and has the third largest aircraft fleet of the world.

“On our 90th birthday, I couldn’t be more proud of our rich heritage and the exciting future ahead of United. I want to thank our customers for your loyalty over the years, and we look forward to serving you for many more as we continue to elevate our customer experience today and into the future,” said Oscar Munoz, president and CEO of United Airlines. “I also want to express my deep gratitude to United’s more than 84,000 aviation professionals for your unsurpassed teamwork, passion and dedication. You’ve helped make the world a smaller place by safely and comfortably uniting billions of people around the globe.”

United and the family of airlines that it represents has been at the forefront of innovation in the airline industry for the last 90 years. Some of these innovative firsts include:

  • Creating commercial aviation’s first flight kitchen in 1936. The first meal served was a choice of fried chicken or scrambled eggs. Today, United serves more than 50 million meals per year.
  • Instituting the industry’s first progressive maintenance program that dramatically improved efficiency. Today, United has 12,500 technical operations employees located at more than 60 stations around the world.
  • Introducing live television to the airline industry in the 1960s. In the Boeing 707’s inflight lounge, passengers could sit together and briefly watch live TV while flying over major metropolitan areas. Now, United has 216 aircraft with live television, offers the largest selection of free streaming content among U.S. carriers and operates nearly 700 aircraft with satellite Wi-Fi, making it the world’s largest satellite Wi-Fi fleet.
  • The first U.S. airline to order jetliners, introduced the Boeing 777, and was the North American launch customer for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
  • The first airline to fly to all 50 U.S. states, launched first-ever nonstop service between the United States and Chengdu, China, and was the first U.S. airline to serve Israel from the West Coast with service between San Francisco and Tel Aviv.
  • United recently made history by becoming the first U.S. airline to begin use of commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation biofuel for regularly scheduled flights.

Varney Air Lines operated its first flight exactly 90 years ago. Varney Air Lines, founded by Walter T. Varney, would become one of the founding carriers of United Airlines. In 1934, Varney also founded Varney Speed Lines, which would eventually become Continental Airlines.

Further information may be found at United Hub site.

United Airlines announces fleet update

Courtesy: United Airlines.

Courtesy: United Airlines.

United Airlines yesterday announced an order to purchase 25 new Boeing 737-700 aircraft. The order is in addition to the previously announced order of 40 737-700s. United will take delivery of the aircraft beginning at the end of 2017.

The new 737-700 aircraft will enable United to continue utilizing larger, more efficient aircraft as the airline reduces the size of its 50-seat regional fleet. United expects to have fewer than 100 aircraft in its 50-seat fleet by the end of 2019.

The next-generation 737-700s provide a superior customer experience by featuring cabin enhancements including larger overhead bins that can accommodate additional carry-on bags. The aircraft’s Boeing Sky Interior creates a larger sense of space through sculpted sidewall panels and LED cabin lighting that mimics soft blue skies and sunset colors.

United also announced that the carrier will retire its 747 fleet from scheduled service by the end of 2018. Additionally, the airline announced that it will be converting 787 orders originally anticipated for delivery in 2020 and beyond into four 777-300ERs and five 787-9s beginning in 2017. These conversions will accommodate the accelerated retirement of the 747s while also meeting United’s capacity needs.

“The new 737-700 aircraft are ideal for our fleet as we continue to reduce our reliance on 50-seat aircraft,” said Gerry Laderman, United’s senior vice president of finance and acting chief financial officer. “Retiring the 747 fleet and replacing those aircraft with more customer-pleasing, current generation aircraft creates a more reliable and efficient fleet that provides a better overall experience for our customers traveling on long-haul flights.”

In addition to this announcement, United currently has firm orders for 35 Airbus A350-1000s, 153 aircraft from the Boeing 737 family, 10 Boeing 777-300ERs, and 27 Boeing 787s. The airline also has firm orders for 10 Embraer E175 aircraft that United Express partners will operate.

Source: United Airlines.

United Airlines applies to serve Cuba from four global gateways

Courtesy: United Airlines.

Courtesy: United Airlines.

United Airlines today submitted its formal application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for authority to provide service from four of its largest U.S. gateway cities – Newark/New York, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Chicago – to Havana’s José Martí International Airport. If approved, United will be one of the first U.S. airlines to offer customers daily, nonstop scheduled service to Cuba.

“This is a historic moment for our company, our employees and, most importantly, our customers,” said Oscar Munoz, United’s president and chief executive officer. “We want to be the first choice for passengers traveling between the U.S. and Cuba. We’re able to offer customers the best access, convenience and connections to and from Havana through our industry-leading global route network, and we’re excited to compete for this important service.”

United’s proposal to DOT outlines its planned service to Havana from hubs serving four of the country’s largest Cuban-American populations. The service would include a total of 11 roundtrip flights per week with daily service from Newark Liberty and one additional Saturday flight (eight weekly flights), along with a Saturday-only flight from Houston George Bush Intercontinental, Washington Dulles and Chicago O’Hare (three weekly flights). If United’s application is approved, service to Havana on these routes will be operated with United Wi-Fi-equipped Boeing 737-800 two-cabin aircraft featuring 16 United First, 90 United Economy and 48 extra legroom United Economy Plus seats.

United launched UnitedtoCuba.com to create awareness of the significant economic and competitive benefits the airline’s service would provide, as well as the consumer benefits it would bring to individual, business and government customers. The website also offers customers the opportunity to voice their support for United’s service to Cuba.

Daily nonstop service from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

Newark is ideally positioned to serve the region’s Cuban-American community, which is highly concentrated in the area surrounding Newark Liberty. The Newark/New York City metropolitan area is home to the largest Cuban-American population outside of Miami. For more than 20 years, United has offered millions of customers throughout the Newark/New York metropolitan area the most flights to the most destinations around the world. Customers in this important market need and deserve a robust suite of options for travel to Cuba.

Saturday nonstop service from Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)

Houston is United’s primary gateway to Latin America. Rated as one of the most international-friendly points of entry for foreign travelers, United operates 91 daily nonstop flights to 52 destinations across Latin America and the Caribbean from its Houston hub. Houston will be an important gateway to Havana, directly connecting 20 key markets across the central and western U.S. to Cuba with convenient one-stop service. The Cuban-American population in the Houston metropolitan area ranks eighth nationally.

Saturday nonstop service from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is home to the nation’s tenth-largest Cuban-American population as well as the government institutions and political and economic organizations that are key to building the U.S.-Cuba relationship. United’s service between Washington Dulles and Havana will link two international capitals with weekly nonstop service and will connect 20 U.S. markets to Cuba with just one stop.

Saturday nonstop service from Chicago O’Hare (ORD)

United is Chicago’s hometown airline and home to the country’s sixth-largest Cuban-American community. With nearly 500 daily flights, including nonstop service to 21 destinations across Latin America and the Caribbean, United’s O’Hare hub was recognized as having the best connections to other airports, large and small, in the U.S. and around the world, according to the Airport Connectivity Quality Index. Chicago’s gateway to Havana will connect 28 key markets in the U.S. to Cuba with one-stop service.

Source: United Airlines.

United Airlines to operate longest scheduled flight between San Francisco and Singapore

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United Airlines last Thursday announced that it will introduce daily nonstop flights between its San Francisco International Airport hub and Singapore’s Changi Airport, effective June 1, 2016 (westbound), subject to government approval. United will be the first airline to offer nonstop service between San Francisco and Singapore, and this will be the only nonstop service to the U.S. from Singapore.

United will use the world’s most advanced passenger airplane, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, to operate the service.  Measured by distance, the San FranciscoSingapore service will be the longest scheduled 787 flight operated by any airline and the longest scheduled flight operated by any U.S. carrier, at 8,446 miles.

“We are very excited about introducing nonstop flights between San Francisco and Singapore,” said Marcel Fuchs, United’s vice president of Atlantic and Pacific sales. “This long-awaited service has been made possible by the newest version of our customer-pleasing Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and will offer unique benefits to customers traveling between our West Coast hub at San Francisco and Singapore. Customers arriving to San Francisco will have dozens of options to connect to other cities across the Americas.”

Flight Schedule

Flight UA1 will depart San Francisco at 11:25 p.m. daily, arriving in Singapore at 6:45 a.m. two days later (all times local). The return flight, UA2, will depart Singapore’s Changi Airport at 8:45 a.m. daily, arriving at San Francisco International Airport at 9:15 a.m. the same day. Flying times will be approximately 15 hours, 30 minutes eastbound and 16 hours, 20 minutes westbound.

By using the new nonstop flights between San Francisco and Singapore, customers will be able to save up to four hours’ journey time each way, as compared with the current United one- stop service and competitors’ schedules.

Convenient Connecting Flights

United has timed the new flights to connect at San Francisco with an extensive network of service throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America. United and United Express jointly operate over 270 daily flights from San Francisco to 80 destinations throughout North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. With this new service, United will provide convenient one-stop service to more than 40 U.S. cities, including more than 26 cities that do not have one-stop service from Singapore today.

Singapore Schedule Changes

With the launch of nonstop San FranciscoSingapore service, United will terminate service between Singapore and Tokyo/Narita effective June 2, 2016 (eastbound).  However, United customers in Singapore may continue to choose to fly to Tokyo/Narita by using daily flights on ANA, United’s trans-Pacific joint venture partner, and to make connections at Narita to many cities in the U.S. on multiple flights operated both by United and ANA. United will maintain its daily service between Singapore and Hong Kong.

Onboard Products and Services

The Boeing 787-9 aircraft operating the new San FranciscoSingapore service will feature a total of 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.

United BusinessFirst offers a superior business-class service. The BusinessFirst seat reclines 180 degrees into a lie-flat bed and features a personal on-demand entertainment system with a 15″ touch-screen monitor. BusinessFirst amenities include laptop power, USB ports, noise-reduction headsets, amenity kits featuring Soho House’s Cowshed skin-care products, duvet-style blankets and a multi-course meal with complimentary wines.

United Economy offers complimentary food, soft drinks, juices, beer and wine, tea, coffee and inflight entertainment. Seats feature an adjustable headrest and seat-back monitor delivering a personal on-demand entertainment system.

United Economy Plus offers up to five inches of extra legroom. Located near the front of the Economy cabin, the seats give the added benefit of allowing a swifter exit from the plane upon arrival. The aircraft offers satellite-based Wi-Fi and power outlets.

Source: United Airlines.

United Airlines to bring customers coffee’s “Gold Standard” with illy Premium Blend

Courtesy: United Airlines.

Courtesy: United Airlines.

United Airlines and illycaffe are creating a new alliance that will offer the Italian company’s delicious premium blend to delight customers on board and in United Club locations worldwide.

Beginning next month, United will offer illy’s signature scuro dark roast and the coffee company’s espresso in United Club locations at the airline’s mainland U.S. hubs. Other lounge locations will offer illy in 2016, with the scuro dark roast coming to flights worldwide next summer.

Not Just a Cup of Coffee

Chosen after extensive testing with United customers and employees – including in-flight taste tests – illy reflects the airline’s global network as well as United’s commitment to creating an elevated, distinctive premium experience for its customers.

Based in Trieste, Italy, with more than 80 years of history in the coffee industry, illy’s distinct flavor comes from a unique blend of the top one percent of Arabica beans, purchased directly from the best growers in Brazil, Central America,India and Africa.

Noted for its strong commitment to sustainability, illy’s internationally certified supply chain includes farmers who earn above-market prices in exchange for meeting quality standards – enabling the company to offer world-class blends.

A recent Wine Spectator magazine article praised the coffee, saying it “has become a gold standard in high-end restaurants and five-star hotels around the world.”

“Our collaboration with illy is helping to make the world feel a bit smaller and making flying that much more special, simply by way of a perfect cup of coffee,” said Jimmy Samartzis, United’s vice president of food services and United Clubs. “By serving the world’s most well-known premium coffee in our clubs and on board, we are communicating an experience to our customers and our employees with the quality and care that comes with every cup.”

“It’s truly an honor for illy to be selected as the worldwide coffee partner for United Airlines. The process and final decision to choose illy demonstrates United’s deep commitment to providing its customers the highest quality products and experiences,” said Andrea Illy, Chairman and CEO of illycaffe s.p.a. “Our new relationship with United Airlines is also a testament to our passion for the best and recognition that the illy brand is the world’s reference for coffee culture and excellence.”

Illy will be complimentary on every flight and when offered in United’s lounges.

Source: United Airlines.