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U.S. Airlines Gear Up for 2024 Political Conventions

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United and American are increasing the number of flights to Milwaukee and Chicago this summer for the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.

As the 2024 presidential election begins to heat up, United Airlines and American Airlines are increasing capacity to Milwaukee and Chicago, the two cities that will host the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, respectively. 

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United said it plans to add nearly 200 flights for the political conventions. The Chicago-based carrier will increase its Milwaukee capacity by 75% for the Republican convention in July and fly its largest schedule to Chicago for the Democrats in August. 

The Republican convention takes place July 15 and the Democratic convention is August 19. The presumptive Republican nominee is former President Donald Trump and the Democratic nominee is President Joe Biden. 

Part of United’s summer schedule also includes a 40% increase in flights between Chicago O’Hare and Washington Reagan. 

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“These conventions are steeped in tradition and have now evolved to become a weeklong celebration of our political process,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s senior vice president of global network planning and alliances.

American Airlines is also making some adjustments, upgrading its DCA-MKE route to a mainline fleet that will use a Boeing 737, along with Airbus A319s and A320s. The Fort Worth-based airline is also adding a route from LaGuardia to Milwaukee. 

A spokesperson at American said the carrier is not making any changes to DCA-ORD and LGA-ORD flights for the Democratic convention since both are hub-to-hub routes. 

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United said it would add a new flight between Washington Reagan and Milwaukee, along with 72 additional flights to the Wisconsin city from its hubs at O’Hare, Newark, Denver, Dulles and Houston. The airline also said it would use larger aircraft for 20 round-trip flights. 

For the Democratic convention, United is adding 38 more flights between O’Hare and Washington Reagan. During peak convention days, United will operate a Boeing 737 Max 8 on the route. The carrier is also adding 80 flights between O’Hare and other U.S. cities like Albany, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Portland, Oregon, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego and San Jose. 

Airlines Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of airline sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets including network carriers, low-cost carriers, and other related companies.

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The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more airlines sector financial performance. 

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

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