United Airlines announced on Thursday that it would be expanding transatlantic service to five new destinations, slated to start next spring.
Beginning in the spring of 2022, United will start serving flights to Amman, Jordan; Ponta Delgada in Portugal's Azores archipelago; Bergen, Norway; Palma de Mallorca in Spain’s Balearic Islands; and Tenerife in the Canary Islands.
United also announced that new flights between the U.S. and Europe would be added starting next spring, including trips between Denver and Munich, Chicago and Milan and Washington, D.C. and Berlin.
Several flights previously interrupted during the pandemic are also set to restart in the spring of 2022.
"Given our big expectations for a rebound in travel to Europe for summer, this is the right time to leverage our leading global network in new, exciting ways," Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of international network and alliances at United, said in a statement "Our expansion offers the widest range of destinations to discover — introducing new, trendy locales that our customers will love, as well as adding more flights to iconic, popular cities."
The announcement signals that airlines anticipate Americans will seek to return to higher levels of travel during peak points, including the summer. It remains uncertain whether the latest delta wave will be the last wave of COVID-19 in the U.S., though it appears that Americans may have to treat COVID-19 as an endemic disease.
United in recent months has been considered an industry leader in coronavirus vaccination mandates. It was the first airline company to mandate that its employees get vaccinated, and it had a vaccination rate of 97 percent among its staff as of Sept. 22. Other airlines have followed suit, including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Alaska Airlines, given federal COVID-19 vaccination mandates.