United has added more than 1,000 net flights to its summer calendar.
As the first Airbus aircraft to join the Chicago-based airline's fleet in more than 20 years, United Airlines celebrated the historic arrival of its first Airbus A321neo in October 2023. Upon its launch, the aircraft featured United's signature interior upgrades, including enlarged overhead storage, first-class seating, and Bluetooth connectivity for every passenger. On November 30, it took off for the first time, flying from Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD).
Cirium data indicates that this month, United's existing fleet of four A321neos will only perform 290 flights from Chicago O'Hare, covering five itineraries. United has made strategic use of these aircraft, which have 200 seats, by allocating them to three Florida destinations: Orlando, Fort Myers, and Fort Lauderdale, in addition to Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Even with the quick inflow of new Airbus aircraft, it's unclear how many will be in United's fleet by summer because the airline hasn't disclosed this information in response to Simple Flying's questions.
United intends to increase the number of routes served by A321neo to nine by June, bringing the aircraft's range to a third hub at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). A321neo operations are set to commence in May at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), with more flights anticipated for June. The routes for June include the following new and old destinations, listed below:
Las Vegas - Chicago
Phoenix - Chicago
Portland - Chicago (new)
Orlando - Chicago
Los Angeles - Chicago (new)
Fort Lauderdale - Chicago
Houston - Chicago
Seattle - Chicago (new)
San Francisco - Chicago
Starting on June 27, three daily flights from Chicago to Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA) will be among the new routes that use A321neos. But starting in June, Fort Myers won't be able to use A321neo services. United has increased the number of round-trip flights by 88 and the number of available tickets by 17,600 for June.
Up until July, United will operate 682 more round-trip flights and add 136,400 seats to its schedule as part of the A321neo expansion. Only 310 A321neos flights were scheduled at first; by today, that number has increased to 992. While the aircraft will be removed from the ORD-FLL and ORD-PHX routes in July, service will be greatly increased in other locations. With six daily roundtrips flown by A321neos, the most popular route will be ORD-SFO, followed by ORD-SEA with three and ORD-IAH with two.
August will see the return of A321neo service to Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, and Fort Myers. United plans to run 706 A321neo flights on these routes in that month.
The number of United's scheduled A321neo flights for June through August has increased significantly from 1,284 to 2,450, suggesting a major expansion. Throughout the summer, travelers will have plenty of chances to fly on United's new A321neos, with 490,000 tickets available.