Airlines & Airports
|June 09, 2014|
United Airlines Launches First-Ever Nonstop Service Between U.S. and Chengdu, China
|United Airlines today launches new nonstop service linking the airline's San Francisco hub with Chengdu, China, the fourth-largest Chinese city, becoming the first carrier to fly nonstop from the U.S. to mainland China beyond Beijing and Shanghai and the first U.S. carrier to serve Chengdu.|
"United offers travelers more choices to more of the world than any other airline and we're proud to expand our global reach with the first trans-Pacific service to Chengdu," said Dave Hilfman, United's senior vice president of worldwide sales. "With more than 250 of the Fortune 500 companies located in the area, and as home to the giant panda and Sichuan cuisine, Chengdu will be a popular destination for both business and leisure travelers."
United will use the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner to operate the three-times-weekly service. Chengdu is the ninth destination United serves in the Asia/Pacific region nonstop from San Francisco, from which United offers more nonstop trans-Pacific flights from the United States than any other carrier.
Flight 9 will depart San Francisco International Airport at 1:25 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 6:40 p.m. the following day (all times local). For the return, flight 8 will depart at 9:50 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 8:40 a.m. the same day. Flying times will be approximately 14 hours, 15 minutes westbound and 13 hours, 50 minutes eastbound. This new nonstop flight will shave nearly four hours off the typical travel time between the two cities.
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China, is the country's fourth largest city, with a population of approximately 14 million in the urban area. In recent years, Chengdu has been one of the country's fastest-developing cities economically, and more than half of the Fortune 500 companies have a presence in the city. Sichuan is famous as the natural habitat of the giant panda and home to one of China's most popular cuisines.
United's San Francisco Hub
United is the largest carrier at San Francisco International Airport, offering nearly 300 daily flights to more than 90 destinations in the U.S. and around the world, more service than any other airline from the Bay Area. From its San Francisco hub, United also offers more nonstop trans-Pacific service to and from the United States than any other carrier hub. United currently operates more than 30 daily nonstop flights from San Francisco to 21 international destinations and will add nonstop service from San Francisco to Tokyo's Haneda Airport in October, pending government approval.
United's Service to China
United started nonstop service to mainland China in 1986 and today serves Beijing with nonstop flights from Chicago, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington/Dulles; Shanghai with nonstop flights from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York/Newark and San Francisco; and Hong Kong with nonstop flights from Chicago, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Guam, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City.
The airline recently announced it will add new twice-weekly service between Guam and Shanghai beginning Oct. 28, 2014.
United is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's largest and most comprehensive airline alliance, whose other members include Air China. United and Air China have a bilateral partnership that includes codesharing on selected routes and provides customers of both carriers additional travel benefits, such as airport lounge access and frequent-flyer-program reciprocity. Air China offers flights to 62 cities from Chengdu, many of which will offer same-day connections to United's new Chengdu service.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The 787 Dreamliner is revolutionizing the flying experience for United customers and crews while delivering unprecedented operating efficiency, comfort and lower emissions. In 2013, United's 787 had the highest customer satisfaction scores of any aircraft in its fleet. To date, United has flown its 787 fleet more than 30,000 hours on more than 4,400 flights. The airline now operates 10 787 Dreamliners with an additional 55 on order, including the 787-9. The 787-9 leverages the visionary design of the 787-8, offering passengers features such as large windows, large overhead bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and a smoother ride.
Onboard Products and Services
United's Boeing 787 aircraft are configured with 219 seats -- 36 in United BusinessFirst and 183 in United Economy, including 70 United Economy Plus seats with added legroom.
United BusinessFirst offers a superior business-class service. The BusinessFirst flat-bed seat reclines 180 degrees and features an on-demand entertainment system with a touch-screen monitor. BusinessFirst amenities include laptop power, USB ports and multi-course meals with complimentary premium wines and spirits.
Economy Plus seats offer up to five inches of extra legroom, and both Economy Plus and United Economy seats feature adjustable headrests and personal seat-back monitors delivering a multi-channel inflight entertainment system on demand.
United's China flights feature additional amenities and services designed especially for Chinese customers, including: Mandarin-speaking flight attendants; personalized in-flight entertainment options, including Chinese-language services; and a wide selection of in-flight meals and beverages, including Chinese-style cuisine.