Re-United: United Resumes Only Direct US-Naples Flight After Three-Year Pause

United Airlines is confident that its re-launched seasonal Boeing 767 service will get a smashing summer success.

After launching (or restarting) its Newark-Naples service on April 30th, United Airlines launched its corresponding return service from Naples to Newark on May 2nd. While a flight review would have been better, Simple Flying was in attendance for the media event in Naples and had a chance to speak with Thorsten Lettnin, United Airlines’ director of Sales Continental Europe, India and West Africa.

High hopes for route re-launch

After an extended pause in service from 2019, United Airlines is back in the Italian city of Naples. Indeed, it is the only airline to serve the city direct and nonstop from the United States. Known as a gateway to the Amalfi coast and a mecca for pizza lovers, Naples is a well-known leisure destination for Americans and Europeans alike. The relaunch of this service is set to capture pent-up demand that has been severely suppressed with the onset of the pandemic.

“It’s always emotional to see the aircraft push back,” said Thorsten Lettnin, the airline’s director of Sales in Continental Europe in front of VIPS and media. Lettnin continued, saying:

“A lot of work has gone into this…we have high confidence that this route will be a huge success for business people, for the US community here, it’ll be a huge success for tourism, and the Americans – for all the right reasons – love this part of the worldIt’s an investment from our side – we have all the confidence that expectations will be met.”

Non-stop to and from New York, one less stop for everyone else

“Newark, is, for United Airlines, a big hub in the United States, and this flight…has connectivity to 70 destinations in the United States and South America,” Lettnin highlighted in his speech.

Indeed, as Lettnin points out, this re-launched service will be more than just a direct service between New York and Naples. Residents of Naples and the surrounding area will be able to access much of the United States and South America in a single stop- rather than two transfers (three flights). Naturally, this will reduce the possibility of missed connections and delayed baggage- a big win for travelers.

The flight will utilize a higher-density, two-class Boeing 767-300ER, as opposed to its three-class configuration which can accommodate 69 fewer passengers. This higher-density layout is fitted with 30 seats in business class and another 184 in economy.

The flight out of Newark (UA964) will depart at 17:00 and arrive in Naples at 07:55 the next day. Returning to home base, flight UA965 will depart Naples at 09:55 and arrive in Newark at 14:05. This seasonal service will take place daily through to the end of October. The final service of the season will take place on October 29th from Naples. The outbound flight to Naples should take nearly eight and a half hours while the return journey should be closer to nine hours.

A different environment than in 2019

Offering 80 thousand more seats than in 2019, Roberto Barbieri, CEO of Naples’ airport operator Gesac, notes that the flight to New York takes on “extraordinary significance,” adding, “it is a strong sign of hope and confirms the airport’s active role in the economic growth of the area.”

Highlighting the presence of COVID as the main differentiator between now and 2019, Lettnin cites pent-up demand among the traveling public as a key reason that the route will work for the airline.

“People want to travel – we see it. And therefore, for this season, we are forecasting that summer 2022 will be a great summer for transatlantic travel. We see people wanting to connect at both ends, they’ve been waiting for too long”


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