United to Launch San Francisco-Barcelona Nonstop Route

United Airlines will launch a new seasonal daily service between San Francisco International Airport Barcelona-El Prat International Airport.



December 7, 2023

DALLAS — Yesterday, Chicago-based United Airlines (UA) revealed it will launch a new seasonal daily service between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Barcelona-El Prat International Airport (BCN). The new service will commence on May 23, 2024, and last until October 25, 2024. UA plans to add 30% more seats between the United States and Spain this upcoming summer.

The new service will be the airline’s fourth nonstop route from the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region and the first time United will connect San Francisco and Barcelona. UA already operates nonstop flights between Barcelona and several other airports, including Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). In addition, this summer, United will serve all five major international airports in Spain, including Malaga Airport (AGP), Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI), Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD), Barcelona-El Prat International Airport (BCN), and Tenerife South Airport (TFS). Moreover, United is the only US carrier to offer flights to Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, and Tenerife.

United’s new 5,970-mile flight will operate between the busy summer travel season and most of the fall season. The service that will run daily will be onboard a Boeing 777-200ER, outfitted with 50 Polaris lie-flat business class seats, 24 seats in Premium Plus, 46 seats in Economy Plus, and 156 seats in Economy class. The San Francisco-Barcelona nonstop will follow the following schedule:

  • SFO to BCN: UA672, 17:25–13:55 +1 (11 hours, 40-minute block time)
  • BCN to SFO: UA673, 17:20–20:25 (12 hours, 5-minutes block time, same-day arrival)

United will join Spanish-budget carrier LEVEL to serve the San Francisco-Barcelona route. The budget carrier does not have an airline code for flights. As such, it takes on Iberia’s (IB) code.

Moreover, American Airlines (AA) announced a new flight between its Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) hub and Barcelona ahead of the 2024 summer season. Although UA and AA will not go head-to-head in the same market, they compete to connect traffic between the West Coast and Barcelona.

United Airlines N78008 Boeing 777-200(ER). Photo: Miles Aronovitz/Airways
United Airlines N78008 Boeing 777-200(ER). Photo: Miles Aronovitz/Airways

Transatlantic Expansion from SFO

United plans to increase flights to Spain by 30% in 2024 compared to 2023. As such, the airline is beginning its service between Washington and Barcelona 11 weeks ahead of schedule, on February 15, 2024. Moreover, United will start flying to Malaga a month earlier than in 2023, on May 2, 2024, and will increase the service to daily flights.

With the new service to Barcelona, United will now serve eight transatlantic destinations from San Francisco, including Amsterdam (AMS), Frankfurt (FRA), London (LHR), Munich (MUC), Rome (FCO), Paris (CDG), and Zurich (ZRH).

Besides the daily service to London, which a Boeing 787 Dreamliner operates, the other transatlantic flights from San Francisco are on Boeing 777 aircraft. These transatlantic flights will account for almost 200,000 seats between San Francisco and European destinations through May 2024.

Featured image: United Airlines N76021 Boeing 777-200 "Star Alliance" livery. Photo: Johann Heske/Airways