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United adds some international flights for September, but remains cautious



A United Airlines plane sits on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

United Airlines on Friday said it plans to add a small amount of flights in September, staying cautious as the coronavirus pandemic continues to depress travel demand.

The capacity of the Septemberikago-based airline will be 37% from a year earlier and a 4 percent increase from its schedule in August 2020.

United has been one of the most conservative airlines when it comes to returning flights. A recovery in demand was halted as coronavirus cases rose in the U.S. and states like New York and New Jersey issued quarantine orders for incoming travelers.

“We continue to be realistic in our approach to re-establishing our international and domestic schedules by closely monitoring customer demand and flying where people want to go,”

; said Patrick Quayle, United Vice President for International Networking and Alliances. in a notice.

International capacity, which has been hit hardest by world-wide travel restrictions, will be 30% of United’s September 2019 timetable, with airlines adding routes such as agoikago to Tel Aviv, Chicago to Hong Kong and Houston in Amsterdam, among others.

The domestic flight will be 40% of its September 2019 timetable.

United said Thursday it would consolidate its Embraer E145 short-haul flights with just one regional partner, CommutAir, by launching the ExpressJet airline.

“We have been communicating for several months that we expect to be a smaller airline in response to the unprecedented impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our business,” United said in a statement. “In February, we took our first step to simplify our partner’s landscape and consolidate our E145 flight. We continue to evaluate further opportunities to improve the United Express product.”

United general manager Scott Kirby told CNBC earlier this month that he expects revenue to reach no more than half of 2019 levels without a coronavirus vaccine.


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