This past Sunday, United Airlines launched 8 new routes from its hubs in Denver, Washington Dulles and Houston Intercontinental. Texans are the main beneficiaries of the new service from Denver with two daily flights each to Amarillo (AMA), Dallas Love Field (DAL) and Lubbock (LBB). All are operated by United’s express carrier ExpressJet Airlines, with the exception of one flight from Dallas Love Field on SkyWest Airlines. They’ll all eventually be operated as SkyWest, though, as the carrier is in the process of fully acquiring ExpressJet.
From Washington Dulles, new service began to Louisville (SDF), Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP), Salt Lake City (SLC), and Tulsa (TUL). Salt Lake sees mainline United flights using Airbus A319 aircraft, with the other service divvied up by regional carriers ExpressJet, Shuttle America and GoJet Airlines. Frequency is twice daily to Minneapolis, with the others seeing one flight per day in each direction.
From the Continental Airlines fortress in Houston, SkyWest launched twice daily (except Saturday) service from Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Bakersfield (BFL) using two-cabin CRJ-700 aircraft.
Also this week, United officially debuted an A320 aircraft painted in the carrier’s 1970s “Friend Ship” livery to commemorate the airline’s 85th anniversary. CEO Jeff Smisek was on-hand in Chicago on Wednesday where it began flying revenue service in the retro paint. I’m hoping to see it soon and snap my own pictures, but in the meantime, here’s one directly from United that you can click into for a larger view: