United adds 4 interesting new routes to Alaska, Canada – The Points Guy

United Airlines is betting that your summer plans might include a visit to Alaska or Canada.

Over the weekend, the carrier quietly filed plans to add four routes to its network, as first seen in Cirium schedules and later confirmed by a carrier spokesperson.

These new routes include service from Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Anchorage and Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as flights from Denver to Fairbanks, Alaska, and from Newark to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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The first added route begins on May 2, when the airline inaugurates daily seasonal flights between Washington, D.C., and Vancouver.

CIRIUM

The other three routes commence May 23. Service to Anchorage, Fairbanks and Vancouver will all operate on a Boeing 737 MAX 8, while the airline’s United Express affiliate Republic Airways will fly an Embraer E175 regional jet to Halifax (on a twice-daily basis).

Technically, three of these four routes are resumptions from before the pandemic. The route from Dulles to Anchorage hasn’t been operated since at least 2003 (if at all), which is when the Cirium timetables started recording airline schedule data.

These new Dulles routes are some of the airline’s longest within North America. At 3,356 miles, service to Anchorage is United’s second-longest domestic flight from the hub (behind the 4,817-mile nonstops to Honolulu).

That said, these flights will exclusively be operated by the 737 MAX 8, a jet that features a standard domestic configuration. Once onboard, travelers can expect to find 16 first-class recliners, 54 extra-legroom Economy Plus seats and 96 standard economy seats.

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No matter how you slice it, the nearly eight-hour westbound flight from Dulles to Anchorage (and the eastbound redeye return) will be very long time onboard a single-aisle jet.

With the addition of service to Anchorage from Dulles, the airline will now serve the most populous city in Alaska from six hubs nationwide, including Chicago, Denver, Houston, Newark and San Francisco.

These summer-seasonal flights should appeal to travelers looking for outdoor-focused adventures that are closer to home than far-flung destinations across the globe.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

In addition to chasing seasonal summer demand, there may be another reason why United’s boosting its transborder service.

That’s possibly because of the carrier’s transborder joint venture with Air Canada, which was signed in 2022. The two airlines can now coordinate schedules, and last summer season, we saw the airlines offering more than 260 daily transborder flights and two new routes.

This season, there seems to be new competitive pressure to add service to Halifax from New York. Both American and Delta plan to resume flights from New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) for the first time since before the pandemic, and now United is joining on the bandwagon.

The airline hasn’t served the Canadian city since 2020, and this outstation will finally see the United livery once again in just a few months.

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