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United Airlines Resumes Flights to Nicaragua


It is the third US airline to resume flights to the Central American country.

The US carrier United Airlines has resumed its flights to Managua International Airport after a nearly three-year hiatus, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. On January 4, the company operated flight UA1432 from Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) onboard a Boeing 737-800.

Welcome back onboard

United Airlines flight UA1432 departed from Houston at 13:15, local time, arriving in Managua’s Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA) after a three hours and 30 minutes flight. As reported by news agency EFE, the aircraft was full, with 176 passengers onboard (150 in economy and 16 in first class). The carrier now operates one daily flight on this route.

This is the third airline to reestablish commercial scheduled services to Nicaragua following the COVID-19 pandemic.

American Airlines and Spirit resumed their flights to the Central American country in December 2022.

Nicaragua was the last country to resume its direct connectivity to the United States, despite never establishing any type of restrictions to face the pandemic. Patrick Qualye, Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Global Alliances of United Airlines, said, “On behalf of United Airlines, we are very pleased to serve Nicaragua again, we have 33 years of flying to Nicaragua, and it is extremely important to be able to reestablish for us this route, especially with a professional team that has made this possible.”

United services to Central America

United Airlines is the third largest operator of flights between the United States and Central America, according to data from Cirium’s database. It is below American Airlines, which operates 207 weekly flights as of January 2023, and Copa Airlines, which operates 185 weekly services.

United Airlines currently flies 172 weekly flights to Central America, averaging between 21 daily flights most days to 35 on Saturdays. The carrier operates 26 routes from six US airports (Denver, Newark, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago). Houston has the largest number of routes; United Airlines flies to ten destinations from this city, including Belize, Guatemala, Liberia, Managua, Panama, Roatán, San Salvador, San Pedro Sula, San José, and Tegucigalpa.

Nicaragua’s connectivity

Managua International Airport ranks second to last among the airports serving Central American capital cities in terms of weekly flights. The Augusto C. Sandino airport has 117 weekly scheduled flights, according to Cirium, surpassing only Palmerola International, the new Honduran airport for Tegucigalpa. Managua International holds only 2.2% of all departures in Central America. The airport has operations from ten airlines. Avianca Costa Rica is the main carrier in Managua with 44 weekly flights, followed by La Costeña, a regional Nicaraguan airline with 18 weekly flights, and American Airlines with 14.

The most important route is Managua-San Salvador, operated between three and four times per week by Avianca Costa Rica. Managua-Miami is also a key route operated by Avianca and American Airlines, and Managua-Mexico City served twice a day by Aeromexico. (

Source: Swiss Info.

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