As air travel continues to slowly pick up amid the ongoing pandemic, many airlines are completely reimagining their route networks. For United Airlines, that means announcing seven new long-haul routes, including three new destinations in Africa. United says it’s adding international flights where there’s existing demand, especially tapping into traffic from travelers from the African diaspora visiting their friends and families

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The new routes include:

  •     Newark, New Jersey—Johannesburg: beginning spring 2021

  •     Washington, D.C.—Accra, Ghana: beginning late spring 2021

  •     Washington, D.C.—Lagos, Nigeria: beginning late spring 2021

Tickets will be available for purchase on united.com and the United app in the coming weeks, the airline says.

“Now is the right time to take a bold step in evolving our global network to help our customers reconnect with friends, family, and colleagues around the world,” Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president of international network and alliances, said in a statement.

Throughout the crisis, United has been taking an “opportunistic approach” to expanding its network, driven by demand, says Patrick Quayle.

United highlighted that when its new nonstop Accra service launches, the airline will be the only U.S. carrier offering the nonstop flight from Washington, D.C., home to the second-largest population Ghanaians in the United States, according to United.

In addition to Africa, United is adding nonstop flight routes to Israel, India, and Hawaii.

The new routes include:

  •     Chicago—Tel Aviv, Israel: beginning September 2020

  •     Chicago—New Delhi, India: beginning December 2020

  •     San Francisco—Bangalore, India: beginning spring 2021

  •     Chicago—Kona (Big Island), Hawaii: beginning summer 2021

  •     Newark—Kahului (Maui), Hawaii: beginning summer 2021

Last week, the carrier announced that it would end change fees for all domestic flights in premium and regular economy cabins. On Wednesday, it also expanded that policy to flights to Mexico and the Caribbean.

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