United Airlines is ensuring its customer base is getting its money's worth by adding more domestic flight destinations. The company made the announcement on Monday, October 15th, at a media conference that also revealed a profit of $836 million during its third quarter that ended Sept. 30th.
While most independent airlines are buckling under the pressure of higher fuel costs, United is jumping on the opportunity to fill some voids in six of its major hubs by adding 22 more destinations. The additions will boost the tally of new routes introduced in 2018 to 40.
Big on the list is the expansion of United non-stop routes to Hilton Head, South Carolina, from hubs in Chicago, New York/Newark and Washington, D.C. making the airline the most frequent flight facilitator at that destination. The New York/Newark airport will also get more non-stop flights, including those to Anchorage and Pensacola. Additional non-stop flights to be added in 2019 include Los Angeles and Eugene, Oregon; Madison, Wisconsin, and Pasco/Tri-Cities, Washington; and San Francisco and Eugene, Oregon.
United also intends to adjust short-haul flights including adding more such routes from Washington, D.C., to Elmira, New York; Lexington, Kentucky; and Manchester, New Hampshire. The nation's capital will also offer non-stop service to Asheville, North Carolina.
The announcement indicated that the flight adjustments are a result of changes in consumer demand. That said, United and other airline giants in the U.S. have also hiked fares and charges to provisions from baggage handling to food service, so the announcement of new routes seems to indicate the company plans to invest more into its services.
The measures to counteract the climb in fuel costs obviously worked, as United reported that the earnings in the last quarter were enough to recover the negative impact of fuel prices on the airline's financial performance.
The United announcement comes on the heels of last week's unveiling of Delta's financial report. The rival announced a quarterly profit of $131 billion, and while it didn't make public any domestic flight additions, the company did forecast more international routes in the coming year. Remaining carrier giants American and Southwest are slated to reveal their earnings reports later this month.