United Airlines has launched a direct flight from the UK to Denver, Colorado six years after first proposing the route.
The new flight, made possible by the open skies agreement, allows United direct access to its second largest US hub for the first time.
Speaking on the inaugural flight last week, United managing director sales for Europe Marcel Fuchs said: “For a major airline not to be able to fly direct into a key hub has been hard, so we’re very excited.”
To date, British Airways has been the only scheduled carrier to fly direct from the UK to Denver.
“We’re confident there will be strong leisure demand and not just from the UK,” added Fuchs. Through codeshare agreements, United hopes to attract passengers from Europe, either for Colorado or onward routes. “Denver is a great destination, but a valuable hub too. We have more than 300 connections from there.”
Fuchs hoped load factors would match United’s average of 82% for its long-haul product.
Conference traffic is expected to make up some of the load: the Colorado Convention Center doubled in size in 2003 after a $268 million expansion project it now offers more than 600,000sq ft of exhibition space and seating for 7,000 delegates.