ROUTES: United targets Delta with Atlanta and Minneapolis flights

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United Airlines is taking a stab at the heart of Delta Air Lines with planned new nonstops to Atlanta and Minneapolis-St. Paul in 2014.

The Chicago-based Star Alliance carrier will begin twice-daily flights between Atlanta and San Francisco, and between Los Angeles and Minneapolis-St. Paul from 1 April 2014, according to schedules on its website. The San Francisco flights will be operated by a Boeing 737-800 and the Los Angeles flights by a Bombardier CRJ700.

Both markets are dominated by Delta, which operates multiple daily flights on the routes to its hubs in Atlanta and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The disclosure comes five days after the Atlanta-based SkyTeam alliance carrier announced six new daily nonstops between San Francisco and its growing Seattle-Tacoma focus city from 28 March 2014. It also began an hourly shuttle between Los Angeles and San Francisco on 3 September.

United has a large presence in both the San Francisco-Seattle and San Francisco-Los Angeles markets.

Southwest Airlines and its subsidiary AirTran Airways also fly between Atlanta and San Francisco, Innovata schedules show. Sun Country Airlines also flies between Los Angeles and Minneapolis-St. Paul.