United Airlines Adds 8 New Routes To Boost Latin America Presence

United Airlines is expanding its winter international schedule with the introduction of 8 new routes and is adding flights to 19 destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America. The carrier has been enhancing its network in a bid to capture modest improvement in leisure travel demand.

Starting this December, United Airlines (UAL) said that it will commence nonstop service between Los Angeles and San Jose, Costa Rica and San Pedro Sula, Honduras; between Denver and Belize City, Belize and San Jose, Costa Rica; between Washington D.C. and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and returning service between Cleveland and Cancun, Mexico.

Also, in January, the carrier will begin nonstop service between Liberia, Costa Rica and both Los Angeles and San Francisco, subject to government approval.

Patrick Quayle, United’s Vice President of International Network and Alliances, said “These eight new routes highlight the continued expansion of our network and build upon our strong presence in Latin America.”

“Our new and increased service offers travelers more opportunities to find warm-weather getaways and visit friends and family over the winter season.”

United is also adding more flights to some of Mexico’s most popular beach destinations including Cancun, San Jose del Cabo and Puerto Vallarta and is adding more weekend service to Cozumel from Chicago, Denver and Houston. It is also increasing its service between Washington and the Caribbean as well as connecting Denver to additional Latin American destinations.

Airlines have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, United reported a $1.8 billion net loss on revenue decline of 78% for the third quarter. However, the carrier’s average daily cash burn reduced to $25 million in 3Q down from $40 million in 2Q. (See UAL stock analysis on TipRanks)

In reaction to the 3Q results, Morgan Stanley analyst Ravi Shanker lowered his price target for United Airlines stock to $37 from $38 and reiterated a Sell rating.  

Meanwhile, the Street has a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy consensus for United Airlines based on 5 Buys, 6 Holds and 1 Sell. With shares sinking 61% year-to-date, the average analyst price target of $42.71 indicates an upside potential of 25% over the coming months.  

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