United Airlines says that during the month of May it will exceed its pre-pandemic schedule to Latin America, 15 months after cutting service to the region as passenger demand plummeted amid the first wave of the coronavirus.
“In May, we will greatly expand our Latin America schedule, offering even more options than we did in 2019,” Patrick Quayle, United’s vice-president of international network and alliances, says on 29 March.
The Chicago-based airline said last week that it was upping its international flying to 46% of its pre-covid schedule, resuming flights to Tokyo and European destinations that include Milan, Rome, Amsterdam, Munich and Tel Aviv.
Mexico makes up the lion’s share of the carrier’s new Latin American flights, with non-stop service between 20 Mexican cities and Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco and Washington, DC.
United will operate flights to 13 destinations in the Caribbean, and nine in central America.
There will also be more flights to the South American continent, with the airline operating daily service between Sao Paulo and Houston as well as Newark, and 4-times weekly service from and to Chicago.
United will fly from its Houston hub to Rio de Janeiro five times every week. The airline is also returning with direct service from Chicago, Houston and Newark to Bogota, Buenos Aires, Lima, Quito, Santiago, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
In the past weeks, executives have said that they are seeing a significant rebound in forward bookings as vaccine roll-out continues in the United States, and customers become more confident in making plans after a year of hunkering down and waiting for the pandemic to end.
That said, the global health crisis is far from over. In Brazil, for example, case numbers are rising again, causing some airlines to cancel flights.
Since January, the US government has required inbound travellers arriving from abroad to present a negative coronavirus test prior to boarding their aircraft.