Major announcements this week from United Airlines and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spell bullish confidence in Washington-Dulles International Airport, located in Loudoun County, Va.
United announced plans to expand its Washington, D.C., region workforce by up to 3,000 well-paying, unionized jobs, by 2026. While that target number includes hires at Reagan-National Airport, United’s Dulles hub is expected to gain the majority of those new hires.
“This is United playing to our strengths. The location of our U.S. hubs means we’re uniquely positioned to focus on premium products, business travel and global flying like no other U.S. airline,” United Airlines EVP and Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Nocella said in a statement. “We’ll deliver a better, more consistent experience, with more features for more customers, faster than ever.”
United estimates that every new direct airline job results in about two additional indirect jobs like aircraft manufacturers, airport management and airport retail.
“We salute the commitment from United Airlines, already one of Loudoun’s major employers, to double down on its investment at Dulles International Airport,” Loudoun Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer said. “While serving a global customer base, United employees deserve a hub of the highest quality to call home.”
In recent months, United has announced new, nonstop, capital-to-capital service from Dulles to Athens, Frankfurt, and Accra, the capital city of Ghana. A return to 220 daily departures from Dulles is approximately 80% of United’s capacity from July 2019.
United also announced plans to purchase 150 sustainable electric ground service vehicles for Dulles, part of a $100 million investment in a new baggage system at the airport. Coming in the fall, United will open its new Polaris Lounge at Dulles, a $41 million space to service premium travelers.
United has been joined by other airlines announcing a return to normal service at Dulles, as well as new destinations offered by Air Senegal, Allegiant Air and Southern Airways.
This brings the total number of airlines that regularly service Dulles Airport to 38. When service has returned for all airlines, Dulles will offer nonstop flights to 103 domestic and 52 international destinations.
To help facilitate growth, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced $3.3 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation will be dedicated to runway reconstruction at Dulles Airport.
“We are pleased to see these federal dollars awarded to the Commonwealth to go toward updating four of Virginia’s airport runways,” the Senators said in a joint statement. “This funding will enable our airports to better support travelers and economic opportunities for the surrounding areas.”
Dulles International Airport was Loudoun’s original economic driver, helping the county become the fastest growing in Virginia for decades. Today, approximately one-in-four Loudoun residents was born internationally, making Dulles Airport an important conduit of commerce and culture.
“This is great news for the #LoudounPossible economy and reflects the importance of Dulles Airport in our economic recovery,” Loudoun’s Buddy Rizer added. “Dulles has more room for growth than any other airport on the East Coast and will welcome D.C. Metrorail connectivity in the next year. Even though air travel may not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, Dulles is on the ascent thanks to steps being taken today.”
Interested in starting a career with United Airlines or any other Loudoun-based company? Find extensive job opportunities in the aviation sector through the job portal on WorkInLoudoun.com.