Facing an aircraft shortage as it awaits the return of its fleet of Boeing 777-200 jets with Pratt & Whitney engines, United Airlines has trimmed its June schedule, suspending a number of routes.
United Airlines Suspends Summer Longhaul Routes, Blaming 777 Aircraft Delay
52 777-200 jets remain grounded and that is forcing United to make last-minute changes to its summer schedules. The aircraft were grounded as a precautionary measure in February 2021 after a fan blade incident onboard a Denver – Honolulu flight. These planes were scheduled to be re-introduced into the schedule in May 2022, but have again be delayed. A source tells Live and Let’s Fly that the planes are structurally ready to fly, but are experiencing oil servicing equipment issues.
In a rather last-minute move, United Airlines is suspending the following flights during the month of June:
Newark (EWR) ⇄
San Francisco (SFO) ⇄
United is suspending its afternoon service on UA58/59, but will still operate its evening UA926/927 service
Washington Dulles (IAD) ⇄
São Paulo (GRU)
Furthermore, Ethan Klapper noted that United is dropping its Newark – Stockholm (ARN) service altogether. That seasonal route, which last ran in 2019, was scheduled to run from late May to October.
Passengers booked on these flights will be re-accomodated on other routes or be eligible for a refund if they no longer wish to travel on a one-stop itinerary. Practically, airfare has continued to rise and trying to find cheaper or comparable accommodation on other carriers at this late in the game will be difficult.
United did not provide much details via a statement or on background, simply offering its boilerplate schedule change verbiage:
“United makes regular adjustments to our schedule in response to factors including resources such as available aircraft. We look forward to bringing back this flying soon.”
Tip: if your United schedule is impacted, you can make lemonade out of lemons by looking up a suitable alternate routing on United or a joint-venture partner like Air Canada, Lufthansa, or SWISS, regardless of price, and proposing it to the agent when you call to rebook. Check the United app as well, which may offer a number of suitable rebooking options.
United is making last-minute schedule adjustments as it continues to await the return of its 777 subfleet featuring Pratt & Whitney engines. Several routes are impacted, including destinations in Europe, Asia, South America, and Hawaii. Check your itineraries and if you have been hit with a schedule change, research your options before reaching out to United for rebooking.