United to Bolster South Pacific Network

United Airlines has just announced the largest pacific expansion in history by a US carrier. Here are the details.



April 18, 2023

DALLAS — Chicago-based United Airlines (UA) has announced it will expand at an unprecedented level its route network in the Southern Pacific Ocean with new destinations and 40% more flights between the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

Starting on October 28, 2023, UA will operate direct flights between Los Angeles (LAX) and Auckland (AKL) four times weekly, and from December 1, the airline will become the first carrier to connect the South Island of New Zealand with the US with the opening of nonstop services from San Francisco (SFO) to Christchurch (CHC).

Moving to Australia, UA will launch a new flight from LAX to Brisbane (BNE), which will add up to its existing frequency from San Francisco. Additionally, the US carrier will increase the number of frequencies to Sydney and Melbourne from its Pacific hubs. By doing this, UA will become the airline serving more destinations between the US and Australia, and New Zealand than any other in the entire world.

Patrick Quayle, SVP of Global Network Planning at United, stated, "This past winter, United enhanced our network and became the largest carrier to the South Pacific Region. Now, this upcoming winter, we will expand even further. Our strong partnerships with Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia provide unparalleled connectivity, and with our historic expansion across five destinations in New Zealand and Australia, United is the clear choice for customers' travel to the region."

With another 100 units waiting to be delivered, the Boeing 787 is becoming the flagship of United Airlines. Photo: Nick Sheeder/Airways

Another Step Toward Global Footprint

The launch of this expansion from San Francisco and Los Angeles to the Southern Pacific is just one part of the massive international project UA is working on, with the goal of flying non-stop to more than 100 international destinations from summer 2023.

Staying in the Pacific region, United will serve now a total of 10 daily transpacific flights to Tokyo (NRT/HND) and Osaka (KIX), as well as the reopened route from San Francisco to Hong Kong (HKG), concluding in an increase of 15% more seats offered than in 2019.

Moving towards Europe and the Middle East, the US carrier will serve a new whole set of cities in summer such as Malaga, Dubai, or Stockholm, as well as it will reach for the first time unique destinations such as Amman, the Azores Islands, Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife, which have not been connected to the US by any other airline before.

Thanks to this enormous route network, UA has remained one of the most connected carriers at a global scale, giving passengers the possibility to reach almost any region of the world from the smallest US city in less than three total flights across its hubs.

Featured image: The Boeing 777's great capacity and range has enabled unique ultralong transpacific flights between the United States and Australia. Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways