United plans Chicago-Shannon service, pushes into south

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United Airlines will launch new seasonal service between Chicago O'Hare and Shannon, Ireland, as well as new flights to Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Mobile, Alabama, next year.

The Chicago-based Star Alliance carrier will operate five-times weekly service between Chicago and Shannon on a Boeing 757-200 from 6 June 2013 to 26 August 2013. The service will complement its existing flights between Newark and Shannon.

United will also add a third daily flight between Houston Intercontinental and London Heathrow on a Boeing 767-300ER from 30 March 2013.

On the domestic front, the airline plans to launch service between Washington Dulles and Fayetteville, which has long been a stronghold of southern carriers such as Delta Air Lines and US Airways, on 14 February 2013. United Express carrier CommutAir will operate the service three-times daily.

United will also add a once daily nonstop service between Chicago and Mobile on United Express carrier ExpressJet from 9 April 2013. It serves the Alabama city, which is the home of Airbus' new US final assembly facility, from Houston Intercontinental.

"These new flights offer travellers more choice and convenience, while our continuing investment in new aircraft, onboard products and services and technology results in a better travel experience for customers," says Jeff Smisek, president and chief executive of United, in a statement.

No airlines fly between Chicago and either Shannon or Mobile, according to Innovata schedules. British Airways flies twice daily between Houston and London.

There are no flights between Washington and Fayetteville, however, US Airways Express flies once daily between Washington National and the city, Innovata shows.