United Airlines adds routes to Munich and Zurich
New United Airlines routes from Chicago to Zurich and from Denver to Munich connect Star Alliance hubs. They follow Boston’s reintroduction to London Heathrow, which helped the carrier have 22 departures from London this summer, its best ever.
These developments and more mean United’s European summer supply totals 8.1 million seats, 15% more than in summer 2019 (H19). According to OAG data, United now have 71 European routes this summer, up from 62 in S19.
United’s new European routes
Operating once daily year-round, United Airlines’ new routes are as follows:
- Chicago to Zurich: UA3, 15:40-07:35+1, B767-300ER
- Zürich to Chicago: UA12, 09:50-12:35
- Denver to Munich: UA760, 20:20-14:05+1, B787-9
- Munich to Denver: UA761, 16:05-18:35
Zurich uses 167-seat B767-300ERs. They have 46 Polaris suites, 22 Premium Plus recliners, 43 Economy Plus seats, and 53 Standard Economy. In Munich, B787-9s with 257 seats are deployed, including 21 in Premium Plus, 43 in Economy Plus and 149 in Economy.
United already serves Zurich from Newark, Washington and San Francisco, and Munich from Newark, Washington, San Francisco, Chicago and Houston. These are all very ‘Star express’ services.
Never have United had as many seats or routes in Europe as this summer. Notice many thinner airport pairs. New services introduced on April 23 are in yellow. Image: OAG.
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Both are already served
SWISS and Lufthansa already serve both routes, and United’s entry means capacity on these is now far greater than before the pandemic.
According to OAG, Denver-Munich seats for sale were up 80% from H19, while Zurich-Chicago was up a modest 19%, helped by the fact that it was a larger market. broad at the start. The airlines are clearly very confident.
Data source: OAG.
How will they help?
In addition to point-to-point passengers, booking data shows that Lufthansa, SWISS and United were particularly successful in powering flights over Munich and Zurich in 2019.
The routes were also good for “relay” passengers, for example, those who flew Minneapolis-Chicago-Zurich-Nairobi. However, while a decent chunk connected from Zurich to Chicago, few people transited through Denver from Munich.
Carrier schedules complement each other, as shown below. United’s schedules in Zurich will help penetrate more traffic over Chicago more than any other, and Munich will be good for traffic over Munich, Denver and those bridging.
- Chicago to Zurich: United at 3.40 p.m.-7.45 a.m.+1; SWITZERLAND at 7:10 p.m.-10:50 a.m.+1
- Zürich to Chicago: United at 9:50 a.m.-12:35 p.m.; SWSS at 1:05-3:55 p.m.
- Denver to Munich: Lufthansa at 4.10 p.m.-9.55 a.m.+1; United at 8:20 p.m.-2:05 p.m.+1
- Munich to Denver: Lufthansa at 11.50am-2.25pm; United at 4:05-6:35 p.m.
This shows Lufthansa flights to Munich. In addition to point-to-point traffic, Denver’s new United service is scheduled to be powered by the highest number of Lufthansa arrivals of the day. And arriving in Colorado at 6:35 p.m. allows for a large number of possible matches. Image: OAG.
Now six United lines to Munich
The Denver launch means United now has six connections to Munich and six daily flights. As of the day of writing it has the following. Note that Lufthansa’s departure to Denver at 11:50 a.m. fills the void. There would be no point in United leaving then too.
- 09:35: Newark B767-400ER
- 11:30 a.m.: Chicago, B787-8
- 11:40: San Francisco, B777-200ER
- 11:55: Houston, B767-300ER
- 12:20: Washington, B777-200ER
- 16:05: Denver, B787-9
OAG shows that Munich is the third busiest European airport served by United this summer, behind London Heathrow and Frankfurt.
What do you think of all this? Let us know in the comments.
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