(Adds detail on aircraft deliveries, background, byline)
By Jeffrey Dastin
May 8 (Reuters) - United Continental Holdings Inc said on Friday it plans to cut certain transatlantic flights after the peak summer travel season ends as the strong U.S. dollar weighs down international demand.
The Chicago-based carrier said in a statement it plans to halt service to Stockholm and Oslo from its Newark, New Jersey, hub between Sept. 5 and May 4, 2016.
It also expects to suspend one of its two daily flights between Newark and Paris from Oct. 25 through March 26, 2016, but use a larger aircraft, the Boeing Co 777-200, than it currently does on the flight that remains.
With foreign travelers’ spending power hurt by the strong dollar, U.S. airlines have pleased investors recently by announcing capacity cuts so the supply of seats in certain markets does not exceed demand.
Winter flights in excess of demand have “led to poor financial results,” Andy Buchanan, United’s international planning managing director, said in the release.
“However, demand in these markets increases in summer and we continue to see opportunity to serve these markets profitably during the summer season.”
Delta Air Lines Inc has said it will lower transatlantic capacity between zero and 2 percent in the fourth quarter, while cutting service from Japan, Brazil and elsewhere by at least 15 percent.
Last month, United lowered its forecast for capacity growth this year to between 1 percent and 2 percent versus 2014, down from earlier guidance of 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent.
It expects passenger unit revenue to drop between 4 percent and 6 percent in the current quarter in part because of the strong dollar.
United said it would implement the most recent flight changes into its schedule on May 9.
“We will contact customers with bookings for affected flights to either offer them alternative travel plans or provide refunds,” the release said.
Separately, United said on Friday it expects to take delivery of nine Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners between now and March 2016. It expects to use the planes primarily on routes from its Houston hub to cities in South America and Europe, and to Los Angeles and Denver.
Placing some of these larger aircraft onto South American routes will allow it to move smaller Boeing 767-300ER aircraft onto transatlantic routes in the winter, where there is decreased demand, United added. (Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)