As coronavirus vaccines continue to be distributed throughout the globe, United Airlines is expanding its international travel options in Europe.
The commercial airline announced it will add new flights to Croatia, Greece and Iceland starting in July 2021, according to a press release issued Monday.
United customers get to choose between direct flights from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey to Dubrovnik, Croatia; Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia to Athens, Greece; and Chicago O'Hare International Airport in Illinois to Reykjavik, Iceland. Each flight will reportedly be subject to government approval.
"As countries around the world begin the process of reopening, leisure travelers are eager to take a long-awaited getaway to new international destinations," United’s Vice President of International Network and Alliances Patrick Quayle said, in a statement.
"These three new routes unlock the natural beauty of the outdoors for our guests," Quayle added. "They are also the latest example of how United is remaining nimble in rebuilding our network."
Previously, United had announced the airline added flights that will travel to major cities in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and India starting in May. The airline also said it would resume service to Tel Aviv, Israel; Rome and Milan, Italy; Munich, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Tokyo, Japan; and Tahiti, French Polynesia.
United’s expanded and resumed flight routes are a response to the "increased demand" it has observed among international travelers.
Since March 11 – the COVID-19 pandemic’s official one year mark as declared by the World Health Organization in 2020 – the TSA has continually screened more than a million people at security checkpoints nationwide, according to travel statistics shared by the agency.
These screenings aren’t as high as the travel numbers the TSA recorded in 2019, but it is a noticeable increase from many dismal numbers that were recorded shortly after the pandemic was declared a national and global emergency.
On Sunday, April 18, the U.S. federal government announced half of all the adults in the country have received at least one coronavirus vaccine.
The CDC has since updated its travel guidance for fully vaccinated Americans stating international travel can be resumed so long as parties follow airline and destination requirements. The agency continues to recommend travelers follow health and safety practices, including face mask wear, frequent hand washing and social distancing.
For people who aren’t fully vaccinated or vaccinated at all, the CDC recommends these travelers to follow its specified guidance for "unvaccinated people," which includes COVID-19 testing and/or quarantining before and after travel, wearing face masks, sanitizing hands and avoiding crowds.