United plans record San Francisco expansion in 2019

January 10, 2019
United San Francisco expansion
Photo: United Airlines

United Airlines is planning a big year for San Francisco International Airport with the hub’s largest-ever international expansion due to roll out through 2019.

New services will include nonstop year-round services to Toronto, Canada, and Melbourne, Australia as well as a seasonal service to India’s New Dehli.

Services to Pape’ete, Tahiti, and Auckland, New Zealand, will also be extended to year-round and the airline will begin a second daily service between San Francisco (SFO) and Seoul, South Korea.

With 300 flights a day, United is the biggest airline at San Francisco and has added 12 new international destinations to San Francisco since 2013.

The new services, which are subject to government approval, will mean it will serve 29 international destinations from the West Coast gateway.

They will include eight cities in Europe, India, and the Middle East, seven in North America, and 14 in Asia and Oceania.

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A new nonstop daily year-round San Francisco- Amsterdam service kicks off the expansion on March 30. The Boeing 787-9 service in addition to United services to Amsterdam from its hubs in Chicago, Houston, New York/Newark and Washington, DC.

The extended year-round, three-times weekly services to Auckland and Pape’ete also begin March 30.  Passengers heading to Tahiti will fly on a Boeing 787-9 while those heading to Auckland will be on a Boeing 777-200ER.

The following day a Boeing 737-800 will wing its way northwards to begin the twice-daily nonstop service to Toronto. The airline operates more than 20 daily flights between its US hubs and Toronto as well as a daily nonstop service between San Francisco and Calgary and Vancouver.

The second daily flight to Seoul begins April 1 using a Boeing 777-200ER. The airline says it will provide customers with new time and itinerary options as well as convenient connections to more than 80 destinations.

The three-times weekly non-stop service between Melbourne and San Francisco will use a B787-9 and starts October 29.

United has been flying to Australia for more than 35 years and today offers nonstop service to Sydney from Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco well as a nonstop  Melbourne-Los Angeles service.

It boasts it offers more services between the US West Coast and Australia than any other US carrier.

The new seasonal service to Dehli will again use the Dreamliner and is due to begin December 5, connecting to more than 80 cities in India.

“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 chief executive Oscar Munoz said in announcing the expansion.

“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.”

United this week reported that its December traffic was up 6.9 percent on last year as it filled more seats on its planes.

Its consolidated December passenger load factor rose 0.4 points compared to same month in 2017