United Airlines plans over 3,500 domestic flights to tap holiday demand

United Airlines (UAL.O) said on Thursday it plans to operate more than 3,500 domestic flights in December, its largest domestic schedule since the start of the pandemic, seeking to capitalize on pent-up holiday season demand from travelers who did not see friends and family last year.

The U.S carrier said holiday travel flight searches on its website were up 16% compared to 2019.

United said it would offer new flights to popular tourist destinations including Las Vegas from the U.S. Midwest, as well as add flights to ski destinations such as Aspen from its hub airports.

U.S. Airlines are expected to benefit from both domestic and international travel demand during the holiday season, after the Biden administration reopened the country to fully-vaccinated air travelers from around the world starting November. read more

Brokerage Cowen in a note earlier this week said it expects fourth-quarter outlook for U.S. airlines to reflect a strong peak, likely above 2019 levels, as people start planning holiday trips.