What United and in fact nobody had was permission to fly direct services from US cities other than those on the West Coast. In February 1967 the CAB began to hear evidence in relation to the new Transpacific route case. Everybody wanted a piece of the action and there were no less than 18 airlines applying for a huge range of routes across the Pacific including to Hawaii. By April 1968 the board's findings were delivered and United gained authority to access Hawaii from many Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeastern cities. The whole Transpacific case would not end there with continuous amendments, retractions and new awards as the politicians weighed in (including President Johnson) and the airlines worked their advantage as best they could.
In regards to Hawaiian service in the end almost all the majors (Western, United, Continental, Braniff, Northwest and Eastern) acquired rights to serve the islands leading to a boom in air travel and a lot of over capacity. United at last was able to get its new services confirmed on July 22, 1969. It would be able to fly from Chicago, New York and San Diego to Honolulu, but what would it use to fly the routes? Neither the DC-8-50s or DC-8-61s had the range from the East coast.
Davies, R.E.G. Airlines of the United States since 1914
Waddington, T. Great Airlines Series: Volume 2 - Douglas DC-8
Cearley, G.E. United: The Main Line Airway
Aeromoe's United Fleet
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: