RadarBox: United Airlines Has Far Exceeded Pre-COVID-19 Numbers

Photo Credit: Karam Sodhi/AviationSource

LONDON – According to data from RadarBox.com, United Airlines has far exceeded pre-COVID-19 numbers and is definitely a rising star within the US3.

Based on a seven-day rolling average, United Airlines has been offering around 1,000 movements more per week compared to the pre-COVID period of 2019.

So, without further ado, let’s get into the numbers…

The Numbers…

Data from September 10-17 shows that the airline operated around 3,399 flights, which is an increase of 1.25% compared to the same period last year.

However, this is around 1,130 flights more than the same period in 2019, which shows the exponential growth that the airline has implemented in recent years.

Below are the numbers from the carrier over the last four weeks:

  • August 13-20 – 3,520 movements – +2.80% increase.
  • August 20-27 – 3,426 movements – +1.33% increase.
  • August 27-September 3 – 3,457 movements – +4.16% increase.
  • September 3-10 – 3,469 movements – +1.73% increase.

A Busy Six Weeks for United…

It has been a busy six weeks for United Airlines, with several announcements made regarding its network as well as for the future of flight too.

First, United Airlines announced that they will be starting scheduled services between Washington D.C. and Cape Town, South Africa.

After waiting for quite some time, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has granted United Airlines the ability to fly three weekly flights from Washington D.C. to Cape Town in South Africa, making United the first ever carrier to connect the two major cities.

However, it is worth noting that the South African Government is still yet to approve the new service.

The new three-weekly service will be inaugurated on November 17, and depart from United’s main hub at Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Cape Town International Airport (CPT), using United’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

When this new route commences on November 17, it will mean that United will have a total of 19 weekly services between the U.S. and Africa, with the new route joining their services from New York/Newark to Cape Town and Johannesburg, and Washington D.C. to Accra, Ghana, Lagos, and Nigeria.

Thereafter, United sent over its $10m pre-payment to Archer Aviation for 100 eVTOL aircraft.

This payment marks a significant milestone for the eVTOL industry as this sets precedents for other eVTOL manufacturers and airlines that a move to the vertical take-off and landing business is inevitable.

This deal will also be beneficial to Archer itself, giving confidence to its products. The deposit on this round of orders was from a deal made in 2021. 

Archer Aviation has also made significant progress with the aircraft PDR or Preliminary Design Review, now nearing the next phase of development.

The PDR is one of the crucial phases in any aircraft design, and to ensure relevant parties, such as system architects and engineers, have agreed upon the design to be moved on to the next phase.

The PDR is also a crucial phase in that it lays out the aircraft’s blueprint and manufacturing requirements, to ensure that the eVTOL is able to achieve mass production under the regulatory compliance of the FAA, and also operate in a commercially viable manner.

Above all, United Airlines’ commitment to the eVTOL is huge, seen by the impressive 100 aircraft ordered placed on Archer’s flagship product, and is one of the first major airlines in the country to introduce eVTOL into the market. 

Then, earlier this month, the airline announced that its future at JFK hangs in the balance of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Over the last 12 months, the US-based airline has been canvassing the Federal Aviation Administration and the industry market at JFK to allow them additional permanent slots.

Competitors such as JetBlue and American Airlines fly both more frequently, and at more attractive time slots between JFK and Los Angeles than what United can offer at present. With this in mind, United do not believe they can serve the airport effectively. 

During the Covid pandemic, some airlines gave up their slots to United for them to use temporarily, but since the air travel market has seen a sharp upturn in demand as Covid fades into the background, these temporary opportunities are having to be given back. 

Since beginning to use the temporary slots out of JFK, United has liked what it’s seen and has been pursuing both the FAA and other airlines for the chance to have increased permanent slots.

Whereas they are looking to acquire other airlines’ slots via commercial agreements, they are looking for the FAA to step in and increase overall capacity at the airport.

Finally, the airline announced that it will be operating double daily flights to Melbourne, Australia.

This is seen to be very impressive. The airline will fly daily flights to both San Francisco and Los Angeles airports, respectively, beginning later this year. 

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