7 October (WNN) — United Airlines is gearing up to wrap up an anticipated busy holiday travel season with its biggest schedule since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chicago-based company announced on Thursday that it will operate more than 3,500 daily domestic flights in December, which is 91% of its 2019 capacity.
The schedule includes new flights between the Midwest and travel destinations like Las Vegas and Orlando, Fla. The airline is also offering 70 daily flights to ski destinations, including new service between Orange County, California and Aspen, Colo.
The company said that there has been a 16% increase in searches for holiday flights on the company’s website and app compared to 2019.
“We are seeing a lot of demand in our data and are offering a December schedule that focuses on the two things people want most for the holidays: warm sunshine and fresh snow,” said Ankit Gupta, United’s vice president of network planning. and scheduling, said in a statement.
“We know family and friends look forward to reuniting this holiday season, which is why we’re thrilled to add new flights that will help them connect and celebrate together.”
New direct flights are being added from Cleveland to Las Vegas and Phoenix and Indianapolis to Orlando. The December schedule includes 195 daily flights to 12 Florida destinations.
On Monday, the International Airport Association reported that the industry is expected to cut losses by 78% in 2022 as it recovers from the pandemic. It is estimated that some 290 airlines have a net loss of $11.6 billion, down from the $51.8 billion in estimated 2021 losses.
United Airlines was one of the first companies to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for its employees. The company has since reported that 99.5% of its 67,000 employees have met the requirement.
President Joe Biden was due to travel to Chicago on Thursday to take advantage of the vaccine mandate.