Just a week after American Airlines announced a handful of new European routes, United is out with some news of their own. The airline will launch year-round service between San Francisco (SFO) and Amsterdam (AMS) as well as summer seasonal routes between Newark (EWR) and both Prague and Naples, Italy.
United first teased these new routes yesterday from the airline's Twitter account and officially announced the new routes this morning.
San Francisco to Amsterdam
United will begin their year-round service between San Francisco (SFO) and Amsterdam (AMS) on March 30th, 2019. United will operate this route on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Currently, KLM is the only airline with nonstop service from SFO into Amsterdam (AMS) which they also operate on a 787-9 aircraft.
- UA968 San Francisco (SFO) 2:55pm Departure → Amsterdam (AMS) 10:20am (+1) Arrival
- UA969 Amsterdam (AMS) 2:50pm Departure → San Francisco (SFO) 4:50pm Arrival
Newark to Naples, Italy
United will begin their seasonal service between Newark (EWR) and Naples, Italy (NAP) from May 22, 2019, through October 4th, 2019. United will operate this route on a Boeing 767-300 and will be the only airline offering nonstop service between the two airports.
- UA964 Newark (EWR) 5:25pm Departure → Naples (NAP) 8:05am (+1) Arrival
- UA965 Naples (NAP) 10:10am Departure → Newark (EWR) 2:05pm Arrival
Newark to Prague
United will begin their seasonal service between Newark (EWR) and Prague (PRG) from June 6th, 2019, through October 4th, 2019. United will also operate this route on a Boeing 767-300 and will be the only airline offering nonstop service between the two airports.
- UA188 Newark (EWR) 6:05pm Departure → Prague (PRG) 8:25am (+1) Arrival
- UA187 Prague (PRG) 10:10am Departure → Newark (EWR) 1:30pm Arrival
These routes are already available for booking on United's website. It isn't yet clear if United will be cutting other routes to make room for these new seasonal European routes out of Newark or if they truly represent additional capacity.
There are not many carriers offering direct service from the US to Prague (Delta from JFK & American from PHL) so this route is certainly intriguing. Further, the addition of Naples makes the Amalfi Coast much more accessible for US-based travelers which previously was a bit more challenging.
According to Matthew Klint who writes Live & Let's fly, the seasonal routes operated on the Boeing 767-300s will be outfitted with United new Polaris business class product. If you are looking for award space on these routes, I wouldn't wait as I imagine it will fill up fast. The route from SFO to AMS on the 787-9 will not feature United's new Polaris business class product initially.
More transatlantic flights out of the US can only benefit the consumer as it will ultimately drive prices down. It will be interesting to see how these routes perform for United and how they compete head to head with KLM on the SFO to AMS route specifically.