United Airlines to Ramp Up Service Out of SFO Despite Virus Spikes

Airline adding international and domestic flights at SFO in July and August

NBC Bay Area

United Airlines said Wednesday it will resume more international flights out of San Francisco International Airport in August despite rising coronavirus cases across the Bay Area and beyond.

United also will add more domestic flights to about 20 U.S. cities out of SFO beginning in July, the airline said.

The update to the airline's SFO international service includes flights to London, Cancun and Los Cabos. Domestic service updates include flights from SFO to the Hawaiian cities of Maui, Kona and Lihue, as well as mountain destination cities such as Aspen, Colorado; Jackson, Wyoming; and Rapid City, South Dakota.

By August, United expects to be operating more than 120 flights a day out of SFO, up from 73 flights a day in June, the airline said.

Last week, United announced it would be resuming service to China with twice-weekly flights between San Francisco and Shanghaivia Seoul, South Korea, beginning July 8.

The announcement comes as the cities and counties surrounding the San Francisco airport are tightening restrictions because of recent spikes in coronavirus cases.

"The impact of COVID-19 on our business continues to be significant but we are seeing an increase in interest in leisure travel from passengers who want to return to flying this summer," Lori Augustine, vice president of airport operations for United’s San Francisco hub, said in a statement. "We have designed a schedule to accommodate getting people where they want to go, adding more service to National Parks, beach and mountain destinations to accommodate travelers seeking socially distant vacation options while restoring travel to some of our key international business and leisure routes. We continue to be flexible with our network plan and will look for additional opportunities so customers can have options as they plan their summer travel."

The update out of SFO is part of a larger announcement Wednesday that United is tripling the size of its August schedule compared to June, adding nearly 25,000 domestic and international flights compared to July and plans to fly 40% of its overall schedule in August, as compared to August 2019.

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