United Airlines (Chicago) 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 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 UA 9 will depart San Francisco International Airport at 1:25 p.m. (1325) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 6:40 p.m. (1840) the following day (all times local). For the return, flight UA 8 will depart at 9:50 a.m. (0950) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 8:40 a.m. (0840) 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 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 started nonstop service to mainland China in 1986 and today serves Beijing with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Newark, San Francisco and Washington (Dulles); Shanghai with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco; and Hong Kong with nonstop flights from Chicago (O’Hare), 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 October 28, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N29907 (msn 34830) taxies across the ramp at Los Angeles International Airport.