United Airlines adds Ghana, Nigeria & Bahrain to network


United Airlines announced today it will inaugurate its first-ever service to Africa in 2010, with one daily, same-plane service from Washington to Accra, Ghana, and Lagos, Nigeria. The airline also will extend its existing daily Washington-Kuwait flight to include Bahrain, and will offer a new non-stop flight between Chicago and Brussels, Belgium. Introduction of all of the new services is subject to government approval.

“Our first-ever non-stop service to Africa will offer customers convenient and comfortable travel opportunities to visit two of the fastest-growing cities in the continent,” said Kevin Knight, senior vice president of planning. “In addition, our new services to Bahrain and Brussels will open more international routes to our customers throughout Europe and the Middle East.”

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The new routes are consistent with the 2010 capacity outlook United provided on its third quarter earnings conference call and reflect the continuing optimization of United’s international network.

Daily non-stop service from Washington Dulles to Accra, the capital of the west African nation of Ghana, begins on May 2. The flight will continue from Accra to Lagos, Nigeria. The return flight will operate from Lagos to Accra and Washington. The flights, which will be available for sale this fall, will be operated by Boeing 767 aircraft on the following schedule:

United 990 Washington to Accra
depart 10:10 pm, arrive 12:40 pm (next day), May 2, 2010

United 990 Accra to Lagos
depart 2:20 pm, arrive 4:25 pm, starting May 3, 2010

United 991 Lagos to Accra
depart 9:15 pm, arrive 9:20 pm, starting May 3, 2010

United 991 Accra to Washington
depart 11:00 pm, arrive 6:25 am (next day), starting May 3, 2010

“I am delighted that United Airlines, a global leader in the airline industry, has demonstrated the economic wisdom to expand its routes to include destinations in Africa,” said US Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois. “African economies are among the fastest growing in the world, registering nearly six percent overall economic growth in 2007, the highest in 20 years. United’s new routes are an important element in advancing the mutual trade interests of the United States and Africa, and I am encouraged by the prospects for enhanced economic prosperity for the three nations.”

Middle East
On April 18, United will launch the only same-plane service operated from the Western Hemisphere to the Kingdom of Bahrain. United’s existing non-stop service from Washington Dulles to Kuwait will continue to Bahrain, with the return flight also stopping in Kuwait before continuing to Washington.

Flights will be operated by Boeing 777 aircraft on the following schedule:

United 982 Washington to Kuwait
depart 6:12 pm, arrive 1:35 pm (next day), Existing service

United 982 Washington to Kuwait
depart 2:50 pm, arrive 3:55 pm, starting April 18, 2010

United 982 Kuwait to Bahrain
depart 9:25 pm, arrive 10:30 pm, starting April 18, 2010

United 981 Bahrain to Kuwait
depart 11:45 pm, arrive 6:47 am (next day), Existing service

United 981 Kuwait to Washington
schedule not yet posted

The Accra/Lagos and Kuwait/Bahrain flights are conveniently timed for connections at Washington Dulles, United’s principal transatlantic gateway, to and from dozens of cities throughout the Americas. United offers more than 275 daily departures from Washington Dulles to more than 90 cities.

“We are delighted with United’s announcement,” said Leo Schefer, president of the Washington Airports Task Force. “Service to a new international market expands a region’s trading horizon and increases its competitiveness as a business location and tourist destination.”

Additionally, United will inaugurate non-stop service between Chicago and Brussels on March 28, offering convenient connections on Brussels Airlines – which joins the Star Alliance on December 9 – to points in Europe and Africa. The Chicago-Brussels services also are timed to offer convenient connections at Chicago O’Hare to and from dozens of cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. As the largest airline in Chicago, United offers more than 570 daily departures to more than 130 cities worldwide. Chicago-Brussels flights will be operated by Boeing 767 aircraft on the following schedule:

United 972 – Chicago to Brussels
depart 6:00 pm, arrive 9:20 am, starting March 28, 2010

United 973 – Brussels to Chicago
depart 11:00 am, arrive 1:15 pm, starting March 29, 2010

United will continue to offer non-stop service between Washington and Brussels.

Customers seated in United First and United Business cabins aboard all transoceanic B767 flights enjoy United’s International Premier Travel Experience, which includes lie-flat seats, iPod connectivity, more than 150 hours of movies and television shows on-demand, and a selection of appetizers and entrees designed by world-renowned chef Charlie Trotter. United’s B777 aircraft will be outfitted with new United First and United Business cabins in 2010 and 2011.