While photos of friends in European cities may have dominated one’s Instagram feed last summer, closer places have also been seeing the effects of the post-pandemic explosion in travel demand.
Alaska has been seeing a record number of both cruise and regular visitors during the summer months while Canadian cities such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal have also been seeing a spike of American tourists. The northern neighbor has even recently been ranked as the safest place in the world for tourists due to high numbers of travelers coming back and reporting positive experiences.
To capitalize on this demand, United Airlines (UAL) – Get Free Report just announced plans to add a number of new routes to Alaska and Canada from the mainland U.S — the new Alaskan flights include one between Denver and Fairbanks and another to Anchorage from Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) while the Canadian routes include Dulles to Vancouver in British Columbia and Newark International Airport (EWR) to Nova Scotia’s Halifax.
A United Airlines jet waits to take off from the tarmac.
United brings back some flights, launches new one from Washington
Nearly eight hours long, the Washington, D.C.-Anchorage flight is set to debut on May 2 while the other three have been slated to start three weeks later on May 23. All four are seasonal flights that will stop running sometime around Labor Day although the summer will be a way for United to test demand before making the final decision.
Three of these routes have been run by United Airlines at different times over the years but were at some point cut to make room for others flights. The Dulles to Anchorage flight hasn’t run since 2003.
With the exception of the Newark-Halifax flights, the routes will run on Boeing 737 MAX-8 (BA) – Get Free Report planes. The latter has been slated for the Embraer E175 (ERJ) – Get Free Report aircraft.
New routes ‘some of the airline’s longest within North America’
“These new Dulles routes are some of the airline’s longest within North America,” writes Zach Griff for The Points Guy. “At 3,356 miles, service to Anchorage is United’s second-longest domestic flight from the hub (behind the 4,817-mile nonstops to Honolulu).”
Over the last year, airlines have been competing with one another with expanded service to Alaska in particular. At the end of October, Alaska Airlines (ALK) – Get Free Report announced a new route from New York’s John F. Kennedy to Anchorage International Airport. Similarly to the Dulles-Anchorage route, this route takes over seven hours and traverses 3,386 miles.
It will launch a month later on June 13 and take place once a day on a Boeing 737-8. The airline also plans to start running a new route between San Diego and Anchorage that will take just over six hours and span nearly 2,500 miles — both routes are meant to serve both the growing number of tourists coming to Alaska and the local residents going back and forth to the Lower 48.
“Alaskans like to get out,” the airline said in announcing the new routes. “Sometimes that might mean hitting all the must-sees in New York City or taking surf lessons in SoCal. We’ll make it more convenient for our guests to get there from Anchorage, as well as lots of other places.”