United Airlines is adding Hilton Head, South Carolina, to its route map as part of a new round of domestic expansion at the Chicago-based carrier. 

United will begin flying to Hilton Head, adding flights to the South Carolina resort destination from its hubs at Chicago O’Hare, Newark Liberty and Washington Dulles.

United’s United Express affiliates will operate two daily round-trip flights from Washington starting March 31. Service from Chicago will operate only on Saturdays and Sundays while Newark service will be Saturday-only service. Flights will be seasonal on all routes, scheduled to run through Sept. 8. Newark and Chicago flights begin April 6.

United will be just the second airline to fly from the Hilton Head airport. American already offers American Eagle regional service to its second-busiest hub in Charlotte. 

Beyond Hilton Head, United announced several other new routes and detailed new service and schedule adjustments at its two big East Coast hubs: Newark Liberty and Washington Dulles. 

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From Newark, United also will add daily nonstop service to Pensacola, Florida. United also will upgrade its schedule to Anchorage, Alaska, going from Saturday-only service to daily. The routes will be seasonal, beginning in June and running into September. 

United said it will be the only carrier flying nonstop from Newark to both Pensacola and Hilton Head and the only to fly to Anchorage from any of the big New York City-area airports.  

“We’re also expanding service to key business destinations including Detroit; St. Louis; Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; and Richmond, Virginia,” Jill Kaplan, United’s president of New York/New Jersey, said about the company’s plan to add more flights on several existing Newark routes. 

Another change will see United shift several short-haul routes from congested Newark Liberty to Washington Dulles. The airline’s service from Elmira, New York; Lexington, Kentucky; and Manchester, New Hampshire, will move from Newark to Dulles next year. The shift allows United to add new service and additional frequencies at Newark, where capacity is at a premium. 

In addition to the “shifted” routes, United also is adding one new route from Dulles. Flights to Asheville, North Carolina, begin Feb. 14. The Lexington route also will begin from Dulles on Feb. 14 while the Manchester and Elmira routes will move to Dulles on March 31.

The Dulles-Newark shift continues an effort United began earlier this year. In May, United said it was making room in its Newark schedule by shifting three other routes (Chattanooga, Tennessee; Ithaca, New York; and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.) to its hub at Washington Dulles. Those routes now operate from Washington. 
 
United also announced new service from its West Coast hubs. 

Beginning June 6, United will add nonstop service from San Francisco to Columbus, Ohio. And from Los Angeles, service to Eugene, Oregon; Madison, Wisconsin; and Pasco/Tri-Cities, Washington will start March 31. 

United has said for the past year that it’s been trying to improve its hub schedules to give local customers more flights and destinations and to give connecting travelers more options. 

“There’s no substitute for a great network; serving destinations with convenient flight times that our customers want. This is something we continue to expand on in California,” Janet Lamkin, United’s president of California, added in the carrier’s release. “We look forward to connecting more of the country with California, for example Columbus and Madison, two important markets for higher learning.”    

All told, United says it has now announced 22 new routes that will begin in 2019.

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2018 02 Embraer Gallery 9
A United Express Embraer jet is pushed back for departure from Chicago O'Hare International Airport in June 2015.
Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, special to USA TODAY