United Continental Holdings, Inc. subsidiary United Airlines plans to launch daily non-stop flights between its New York-area hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and Istanbul on July 1, 2012, subject to government approval.
Westbound service from Istanbul will begin on July 2, should United Airlines receive the approvals it needs.
United Airlines will initially operate the route with three-cabin Boeing 767-300ERs configured to seat 183 passengers – six in United Global First, 26 in United BusinessFirst and 151 in United Economy, including 67 Economy Plus seats with added leg room.
From August 28, the airline plans to operate the service with two-cabin Boeing 767-300ERs with 214 seats – 30 in BusinessFirst and 184 in Economy, including 46 Economy Plus seats. Both United Global First and United BusinessFirst feature flat-bed seats, along with a wide range of premium-cabin services and amenities.
Istanbul will be the 76th international destination served by United from Newark Liberty International Airport (most of the destinations are served by the former Continental Airlines, which had a major hub at Newark before the carrier’s merger with United Airlines) and the 37th city in United’s transatlantic route network.
With service from Newark to points in the Americas, Europe and Asia, United says it offers more flights from the New York area to more destinations than any other airline.
“We are excited to add Istanbul to our global route network,” said Jim Compton, United’s executive vice president and chief revenue officer. “This new service will provide customers throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America direct access to one of the most important cities in the region.”
United flight UA904 will depart Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) daily at 7:27 p.m. and arrive at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport (IST) at 12:20 p.m. the next day, local time.
In the other direction, flight UA905 will push back from the gate at IST daily at 1:55 p.m. and land at EWR at 6:02 p.m. the same day, local time.
Turkish Airlines, like United a member of the Star Alliance, has long operated non-stop service between Istanbul Atatürk and New York JFK.