As Covid’s grip on the market has loosened, there has been an increase in travel demand. Travel demand in Latin America and the Caribbean areas, in particular, has increased for the forthcoming winter season. According to the sources, United Airlines has taken advantage of this opportunity to expand its service to the two areas by launching three new flights from Chicago, Cleveland, and Denver.
Cleveland To Nassau, Bahamas
From December, United Airlines is set to launch a Saturday-only route from Cleveland to Nassau, the Bahamas. It has decided to use its Embraer E175 aircraft for this route. When Cleveland was still a United Airlines hub, the Chicago-based carrier operated a daily between Cleveland and Nassau using an Embraer E145 until 2012. Cleveland will join Chicago, Denver, Houston, Newark, and Washington Dulles as United Airlines’ sixth destination from Nassau.
Chicago To Guatemala City, Guatemala
In addition, United Airlines intends to introduce a Saturday-only service from Chicago to Guatemala City. It has chosen to fly this route with a Boeing 737-800. This also expands Chicago’s strong network across the Caribbean and Latin America. The Chicago-based carrier will service five destinations this winter, including Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, and Washington Dulles. United will fly more routes to Guatemala than any other carrier with the new service.
Denver To Roatan, Honduras
United is to introduce a once-weekly (Saturday) service from Denver to Roatan (RTB), complementing its existing service from Houston, making it the first carrier to do so. Denver is quickly becoming an important gateway from the West to Central America, thanks to United. United has already introduced flights from Denver to the Bahamas, Belize, and Costa Rica this year. Currently, the only other United Airlines service to Roatan is through Houston.
Latin American and Caribbean destinations were among the first to reopen to U.S. tourists.
United will operate 167 regular flights to the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico this coming winter. Relative to the carrier’s services in Winter 2019, this is indeed a 26% increase.
Patrick Quayle, Vice President of International Network and Alliances, bragged about Latin America is a solid pillar for airlines during the pandemic, with leisure demand reaching or exceeding 2019 trends. As a result, since last summer, they have been introducing additional routes to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. With the latest announcement, United will launch 20 more routes, allowing passengers to experience more beaches and better weather.
United Airlines has also broadened its network in this region during the catastrophe. This entails establishing alternative routes and using new hubs to establish short-haul international routes. The plan appears to be beneficial, and the airline is placing more emphasis on it with the new flights.
United has introduced over 20 new routes to Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico since 2019. In addition, new flights are being added from Denver, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Belize City, Cozumel, Liberia, and Nassau are among the cities that now have service.
Cleveland was a major hub for United Airlines following the merger with Continental Airlines. The airline reduced operations, citing the hubs in Newark and Washington D.C., as well as the apparent illiquidity of the Cleveland hub.
Nonetheless, United maintains significant brand loyalty and reputation in Cleveland and has certain non-hub flights out of Cleveland that have proven successful, to benefit from this as well. In addition, customers may connect to or from locations globally and places in the United States, including tiny towns like Cape Girardeau, from the hub in Chicago. Adding additional service to Central America expands United’s one-stop options from broad areas of the Western U.S. to Central America.
The traffic is two-way, with a high travel demand from Latin America to the United States. Although Europeans are still barred from entering the United States, Mexican and Central Americans with visas are welcome.
United is flying where there is demand, or at least attempting to generate it by emphasizing leisure and family travel, with the pandemic still lingering. The additional Latin American and Caribbean lines are yet another sign that business travel will resume gradually in 2021 and 2022.