United Airlines officials says the carrier will undertake its largest ever international route expansion ever at its San Francisco International Airport hub. The airline announced plans to add or increase service between SFO and Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, as well as Asia destinations. Pending regulatory approval, United could soon be serving 29 international destinations from its west coast base of operations.
On Wednesday, United Airlines announced its “largest ever international network expansion” from the legacy carrier’s San Francisco International Airport (SFO) hub. Touting the expansion plans as “historic,” airline officials say United passengers will soon be able to reach nearly 30 international destinations from its Bay Area base of operations.
“This route expansion solidifies United’s position at San Francisco as the gateway airline serving destinations across the Pacific, the continental United States, as well as to Europe and beyond,” United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement revealing the unprecedented move. “It serves as a fitting capstone to all our efforts that made 2018 a breakthrough year for United, from delivering strong financial performance to currently leading in on-time departures for the second year in a row.”
According to the carrier, new and increased service between SFO and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), New Delhi (DEL) Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL), Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN), Auckland Airport (AKL), Papeete Fa’a’ā International Airport (PPT) and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) will begin early next year. While some of the routes are entirely new, other routes will see added flights and some routes have been simply expanded to year-round service.
“This is great news for all of our customers and employees in the Bay Area, and a sign that United is deeply committed to growing San Francisco and adding unique and exciting destinations across the globe,” United Airlines California President Janet Lamkin said of Wednesday’s announcement.
The airline says that at least some of the proposed flights will require regulatory authorization before being officially added to the route map. It seems, however, that the carrier has at least one power ally on its side when it comes to seeking government approval.
“San Francisco continues to be a cultural and economic hub for the world,” U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement lauding United’s ambitious international expansion plans. “These new routes will expand international travel to and from San Francisco International Airport, helping us forge stronger connections between our city and other major destinations around the globe.”
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