United Air to Add Newark Flights in Latest Bid for Hub Dominance

(Bloomberg) -- United Continental Holdings Inc.’s strategy of adding flights in its hubs is coming to the New York area.

The No. 3 U.S. airline will bolster service connecting Newark, New Jersey, to 17 U.S. cities starting Oct. 4, with destinations including Pittsburgh, San Antonio and Orlando, Florida. United will also turn winter-only flights from Newark to Key West, Florida, into year-round service in October, while beginning winter nonstop flights to Palm Springs, California.

The additional flights extend United’s push to grab more market share at its biggest U.S. hubs as it seeks to close a profitability gap with Delta Air Lines Inc. and American Airlines Group Inc. United is also working to bolster traffic at Chicago, Denver and Houston. It’s planning to increase seat capacity by as much as 6 percent a year through 2020 as it seeks to reclaim what President Scott Kirby has called its “natural share” of the domestic market.

United will offer the new flights at Newark by shifting capacity from other parts of its network, said Robert Einhorn, a spokesman for the Chicago-based company. The airline is also moving service for three smaller cities from Newark to Dulles International Airport outside Washington. The destinations are Chattanooga, Tennessee, Ithaca, New York, and Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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