Transportation Updates

United Adds Capacity To Three Long Haul Routes In 2022

United Airlines filed a schedule update this past weekend that will see it increase capacity on three long-haul routes next year. In early 2022, Rome and São Paulo will see increases from Newark and Houston, respectively, with plans to use larger aircraft. Meanwhile, in the summer, United will add two new weekly frequencies to Tahiti.

United Airlines will be adding capacity on three long-haul routes next year. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Cirium schedule updates for the weekend showed the expansion. Flights are also available for booking via the United Airlines app or website.

Rome gets a boost

United Airlines will increase capacity on flights between Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) in January and February. The airline will now fly the Boeing 777-300ER daily in both months. The 777-300ER will also be introduced on the route from December.

The Boeing 777-300ER seats 350 passengers. This is a considerable upgrade from roughly 240 seats per week per direction across Boeing 767-300ER and 767-400ER operations. United will now offer 2,450 seats per week between Rome and Newark during one of the typically slower transatlantic travel months due to seasonality.

United Adds Capacity To Three Long Haul Routes In 2022
United will be adding over 700 seats per week using the 777-300ER between Rome and Newark. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The 777-300ERs seat 350 passengers in a three-class configuration. There are a whopping 60 business class seats in the airline’s new Polaris hard product. This cabin offers passengers lie-flat seating and direct-aisle access. Following this are 24 premium economy seats, branded as United Premium Plus in a 2-4-2 configuration. Finally, there are 266 economy class seats, split between 62 extra-legroom economy and 204 standard economy seats. Economy cabins are outfitted in a 3-4-3 configuration.

Changes to São Paulo

São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) is also getting a boost in February and March. Flights from Houston will now be upgraded from a Boeing 767-300ER to a Boeing 777-200ER operating daily. This is an increase to 1,932 seats per week per direction, up from 1,808 previously.

The 777-200ERs that will fly these routes will be the 276-seat internationally configured planes. These planes offer 50 lie-flat Polaris seats with the same new hard product found on the 777-300ERs. Following this are 24 premium economy seats and 202 economy seats, split between 46 extra-legroom and 156 standard legroom seats. Premium economy is in a 2-4-2 configuration, while economy class is in a 3-4-3 configuration.

The Boeing 777-200ER currently operates United’s flights from Houston to São Paulo. The 767-300ER is set to return to the route from late March.

United Adds Capacity To Three Long Haul Routes In 2022
United’s 777-200ERs are long-haul workhorses for United, but engine issues on the aircraft have grounded much of the fleet, pending a fix. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

United is tweaking another route to São Paulo. United’s daily flights from Chicago O’Hare to GRU will switch to all-Boeing 787-9 service. This is a marginal decrease in capacity in February, given that the airline had previously scheduled five weekly 787-9 and two weekly 777-200ER services on the route. It is a more significant shift in March from the 777-200ER down to the 787-9. Overall, United is adding more seats to São Paulo with the upgauge from Houston.

United has scheduled these flights on 252-seat Boeing 787-9 aircraft. These planes feature 48 lie-flat business class seats in the airline’s old 2-2-2 configuration. There are then 88 extra-legroom economy seats and 116 standard economy seats, both in a 3-3-3 configuration.

Tahiti gets a huge boost

United Airlines is giving a sizable boost to one of its more leisure-oriented routes next year. United will add two more weekly flights to Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport (PPT) from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from February. The two additional weekly frequencies, operating on Fridays and Sundays, will start from February 11th.

United Adds Capacity To Three Long Haul Routes In 2022
Tahiti first launched with Boeing 787-8 service, but it has now been upgraded to service on the 787-9. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

United will be using 257-seat Boeing 787-9s on this route. This is the airline’s retrofitted 787-9 configuration. These planes feature 48 of the airline’s newest Polaris lie-flat hard product, followed by 21 premium economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. Behind this cabin are 39 extra-legroom economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration, followed by 149 standard economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.

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