United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) is prepared to boost its December schedule to 3,500 domestic flights per day, the most flights it has had in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic. The airline anticipates “pent-up demand” to increase holiday travel following the fall of delta variant cases.
“We’re seeing a lot of pent-up demand in our data and are offering a December schedule that centers on the two things people want most for the holidays: warm sunshine and fresh snow,” Ankit Gupta, vice president of network planning and scheduling at United, said in a press release.
“We know families and friends are eager to reunite this holiday season, which is why we’re thrilled to add new flights that will help them connect and celebrate together.”
The airline’s new schedule accommodates more capacity towards ski and beach locations, which include 195 flights to 12 Florida airports, the most there has ever been. United originally announced its expansion of Florida flights last year as it sought to provide travelers with destinations where they could abide by social distance rules through the pandemic.
International travel remains hindered amid ongoing travel restrictions. However, the Biden administration revealed that as of November it is set to lift Covid-era rules that limit many international visitors. Though the administration did state that the restrictions would be replaced with vaccine requirements as well as other conditions.
According to the carrier, flight searches through its website and app for holiday travel have risen 16% in comparison with 2019.