United to add more than 400 daily flights in July as travel demand soars

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FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop

(Reuters) - United Airlines said on Monday it would add more than 400 daily flights to its July schedule and increase services to re-opened European destinations as easing pandemic restrictions spur summer travel demand.

Summer travel bookings rose 214% from 2020 levels, the airline said, adding that it planned to fly 80% of its U.S. schedule compared to July 2019.

Ratings agency Moody's has predicted that steady vaccine rollouts across geographies would drive a rebound in commercial air travel, with a strong recovery in U.S. domestic travel, which began in March, to spread globally over different time-frames.

The European Union has recommended easing COVID-19 travel restrictions next month to let foreign travelers from more countries enter the bloc.

United said it was giving travelers more options to visit Europe by adding a fourth weekly flight to Dubrovnik, Croatia as well as more seats to Athens, Greece.

The U.S. carrier has teamed up with Clorox and Cleveland Clinic for cleaning and health safety procedures.

(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shailesh Kuber)