United Deploys Premium Aircraft To Compete In Italy
United deploys premium aircraft to compete in Italyas U.S. airlines expand their competition to include Naples, Italy. United Airlines has recently made a significant schedule change for its Naples service.
They plan to use the "high-J" Boeing 767-300ER aircraft on all flights between Newark and Naples during the summer season, running from May 3, 2024, to Sept. 30, 2024. United will operate two daily flights from Newark to Naples for a substantial portion of the summer, specifically from May 23, 2024, to Sept. 24, 2024.
The "high-J" Boeing 767-300ER boasts an exclusive configuration with just 167 seats, making it one of the most premium-focused layouts among U.S. airlines. This includes 46 Polaris business-class pods spanning 17 rows, along with 22 Premium Plus recliners, 43 extra-legroom Economy Plus seats, and 56 standard economy seats.
Given Naples' status as a highly sought-after summer destination for American tourists, deploying the high-J aircraft to this location is not unexpected. In fact, United had previously operated this jet to Naples for a few weeks in August and September of the past summer.
Naples is undeniably a favored destination for tourists exploring the Amalfi Coast and Capri, Italy. However, there's more to this story. In recent weeks, both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have made highly anticipated announcements regarding their new transatlantic routes for the summer of 2024. Notably, they are expanding their services to include Naples.
American Airlines, in particular, has revealed its plans for the upcoming summer season, introducing three new destinations: Copenhagen, Nice in France, and, as you might have guessed, Naples. These cities will all be connected with new nonstop flights departing from Philadelphia.
In contrast to American's more attention-grabbing announcement, Delta's expansion plans, while less flashy, include two fresh routes departing from New York. One route is bound for Munich, and the other will take travelers to Naples.
Delta's new Naples route is set to begin operations on May 23, coinciding with United's upgrade to two daily flights to Naples on the same day. In contrast, American's new service is scheduled to commence on June 6, following the Memorial Day holiday weekend, which traditionally marks the start of the busy summer travel season.
These three major U.S. airlines are well-accustomed to fierce competition, particularly in the Northeast, where they vie for market share in New York and the wider region.
In this scenario, each of these airlines is operating flights to Naples from their key transatlantic hubs. This strategic choice ensures that travelers from various parts of the country will have numerous one-stop options for reaching this enchanting Italian port city.
Furthermore, the added competition is likely to benefit passengers by exerting downward pressure on ticket prices. In the case of United, the abundance of premium seats on their high-J Boeing 767 could potentially lead to increased availability for awards and upgrades. However, a quick check of the schedules indicates that this hasn't materialized just yet.
The upcoming summer is poised to become one of the most bustling for transatlantic service to Europe. It marks a historic milestone for Naples, as it will witness the highest number of nonstop flights from the U.S. ever. The now-defunct Air Italy had previously operated flights between New York and Naples in the mid-2010s, as indicated by Cirium schedules.
In addition, the overall departure numbers for July 2024 are approximately 6% greater than the previous highest month on recent record, which was July 2023, according to Cirium schedules. This surge translates to over 18,200 scheduled flights from the U.S. to Europe in the upcoming July.