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United Airlines Lifts Schedule to Biggest Since Pandemic Began

United Airlines says flight searches on its app and online are up 16% from 2019, the prepandemic level.

United Airlines  (UAL) - Get United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Report said it was planning its biggest domestic schedule since the start of the pandemic to accommodate an expected surge during the holiday travel season. 

The airline will add flights with an emphasis on connecting the Midwest to warm-weather cities like Las Vegas and Orlando. T

he company says it will also offer nearly 70 daily flights to ski destinations, including new service between Orange County, Calif., and Aspen, Colo.. 

"We're seeing a lot of pent-up demand in our data and are offering a December schedule that centers on the two things people want most for the holidays: warm sunshine and fresh snow," Ankit Gupta, vice president of network planning and scheduling at United, said in a statement. 

The company says holiday travel flight searches online and on the company's app are up 16% compared with 2019, the prepandemic level.

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The company will add new direct flights to Las Vegas and Phoenix from Cleveland, and to Orlando from Indianapolis. 

The company will also resume eight popular direct flight routes from Midwest cities to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando and Tampa, Fla.

The company is making plans ahead of the height of the flu season.

United recently dismissed about 600 employees who did not comply with the company's Sept. 27 Covid vaccine mandate

In September, the Chicago carrier briefly grounded all North American flights for about 45 minutes after it faced a systemwide failure. 

United Air shares ended off 1.4% at $49.52.