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United Airlines (UAL) to Expand Network for Summer Travel

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United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL - Free Report) announced a significantly expanded May schedule as air-travel demand continues to improve. Anticipating an increase in summer travel demand, the airline plans to resume more than 20 domestic services and operate more than 100% of its 2019 schedule to Latin America. The carrier expects its overall schedule to be 52% in May 2021 compared with the 2019 levels. This is a significant improvement from May 2020 when the airline operated only 14% of its 2019 schedule.

Per Ankit Gupta, vice president of United Airlines’ domestic network planning and scheduling, the airline has seen the “strongest flight bookings since the start of the pandemic” over the past few weeks.

Domestic Expansion

United Airlines will begin services from Charleston, SC; Hilton Head, SC; Myrtle Beach, SC; Pensacola, FL. and Portland, ME to seven destinations, namely, Cleveland, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; St. Louis, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Milwaukee, WI and Indianapolis, IN, effective May 27. These services will be operational through Labor Day weekend.

Additionally, the carrier will reinstate 20 popular domestic services in May. It will also introduce nonstop service between Houston, TX and Kalispell, MT; Washington, D.C. and Bozeman, MT; as well as Chicago, IL and Nantucket, MA. With these services, the airline expects its May schedule to be 58% of the 2019 levels.

International Expansion

Anticipating increased demand for leisure travel, United Airlines will operate more flights to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America in May 2021 compared with 2019. Further, the airline will resume flights between Chicago, IL and Tokyo's Haneda airport in the same month. It will also increase service from Los Angeles to Sydney and Tokyo Narita. In the Atlantic region, the carrier plans to resume services connecting Newark, NJ with Milan and Rome, as well as Chicago with Amsterdam, Munich and Tel Aviv. United Airlines expects its international schedule in May to be 46% of the 2019 level.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

United Airlines carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Transportation sector are ArcBest Corp. (ARCB - Free Report) , Saia, Inc. (SAIA - Free Report) and Navios Maritime Partners LP (NMM - Free Report) . While Navios Maritime sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), ArcBest and Saia carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of ArcBest, Saia and Navios Maritime have rallied more than 100%, 70% and 300% in the past six months, respectively.

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