United’s international route network is the envy of every carrier and they continue to add more dots across the world.
Today they announced that they will be the first US carrier to offer nonstop service from the US mainland to Manila, Philippines.
United does fly nonstop from their Guam hub and from Palau to Manila, though no US airline has ever flown there from the US mainland.
The Philippines have strict bilateral flight restrictions, but an opportunity opened when Delta killed off its flights from Tokyo and Seoul to Manila.
Manila has long been thought of as too much of a leisure destination to warrant nonstop service to the US mainland. Long routes like this need sufficient business travel to book pricey business class and last-minute seats in order to make them viable.
Incredibly, United will fly their flagship 777-300ER plane from San Francisco to Manila, which indicates that United expects strong premium class demand to Manila. The route will have daily service starting 10/29, with the flight departing San Fransisco after the time change at 11:35pm and arriving into Manila at 6:50am, 2 days later. The return flight leaves Manila at 9:55am, arriving into San Francisco at 6:20am, earlier that same day.
While Manila doesn’t hold much attraction to tourists, the stunning islands of the Philippines have long been on my bucket list. I had a full trip planned to Palawan and Coron earlier this year, but those plans fell through. Maybe United will release some business class saver award space on this route and I’ll be able to revive them sometime? Sadly, that seems like too much to ask for these days, but it is a lot of premium cabin space for United to try to sell…
United also announced that they will fly daily nonstop 787-10 service between Los Angeles and Tokyo/Narita starting 10/28. That’s in addition to their existing daily nonstop service between Los Angeles and Tokyo/Haneda.
United will also fly daily nonstop 787-9 service between Los Angeles and Hong Kong starting 10/28 as demand to Hong Kong continues to increase. It’s great to see United’s LA hub get some new flights.
San Francisco-Taipei will go from daily service to double daily service starting on 10/29.
United also notes that starting this winter it will operate 66 weekly flights between the US and Australia/New Zealand with new service that was announced earlier this year.
Will you fly on any of United’s new routes?