United Airlines will connect Flagstaff, Arizona, and Sonoma County, California, to its Denver hub next March, as it continues to expand its domestic network.
The Star Alliance carrier will offer twice daily service between Denver and Flagstaff from 31 March 2019, and once daily service between Denver and Sonoma County from 8 March 2019, FlightGlobal schedules data shows. It will operate 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145s on the Flagstaff route and comparably sized Bombardier CRJ200s on the Sonoma route.
Flagstaff is a new destination for United and complements the service to Prescott, Arizona, that SkyWest Airlines begins for the carrier later in August. The new Sonoma route complements United's existing service from San Francisco.
Steve Jaquith, vice-president of United's Denver hub, touts the increased connecting opportunities created by both the Flagstaff and Sonoma County routes in a statement. “Offering customers new service to Denver gives them even more opportunities to connect to United’s domestic and international route network," he says.
Chicago-based United plans to grow capacity by 4-6% in 2019, as part of a three-year plan to recapture what its president Scott Kirby views as its "natural share" of the US domestic market.
"We're off to a good start," Kirby told reporters on the growth plan at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Denver on 22 August. "We felt really, really good about the results so far this year."
Industry analysts were sceptical of the growth plan when United announced it in January, but have come around as the airline has reported improving financial results in the subsequent quarters.
No other airlines fly between Denver and either Flagstaff or Sonoma, schedules show.
Updated with comment from United