United plans to add two new flights from Chicago to Europe as part of an expansion of its international routes, after what the carrier described as strong demand for trans-Atlantic travel this summer.
The Chicago-based airline will add daily seasonal flights from Chicago to Shannon, Ireland, and Barcelona, Spain, beginning May 25. The routes are part of a broader expansion of United’s international flights next summer, including adding service out of Newark, New Jersey, to three new European cities: Malaga, Spain; Stockholm, Sweden; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The additional trans-Atlantic flights come after a major expansion by United in 2022 as it eyed the return of international travel, which was particularly hard hit during the pandemic. The airline said it saw “historic” demand for travel to Europe this summer, which was up 20% over 2019 levels.
“We expect another busy summer for international travel,” said Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of global network planning and alliances, in a statement.
United will continue to fly nine of the routes added in 2022, including routes from Chicago to Zurich and Milan. One of the new routes, between Newark and Bergen, Norway, will be discontinued.
United currently flies to Dublin out of Chicago, but flies to Shannon only out of Newark. A Boeing 757-200 will make the new Chicago-Shannon route.
The flight from Chicago to Barcelona will be in addition to service to the Spanish city from Newark and Washington Dulles. United will fly a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the route. Dreamliners have been plagued in recent years by production issues and deliveries of new planes to carriers had been halted, but Boeing was recently cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration to resume deliveries.
The Associated Press contributed.