CHICAGO, Aug. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation for authority to begin nonstop service linking the airline's San Francisco hub with Chengdu, China, the fourth-largest Chinese city, effective June 9, 2014.
United intends to use the world's most advanced passenger airplane, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, to operate three-times-weekly service to Chengdu. If approved, Chengdu will be 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 – nearly twice as many as any airline from any West Coast city.
Flight ScheduleThe proposed flights, subject to government approval, will depart San Francisco International Airport at 1:35 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 6:50 p.m. the following day (all times local). Service from Chengdu will depart at 10 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 8:50 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.
About Chengdu 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 200 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 HubFrom San Francisco, United provides access to more than 300 destinations worldwide, with nonstop service to 80 destinations on five continents – more than any other carrier. The airline operates more nonstop China-U.S. flights, and to more cities in China, than any other airline. 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. 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 59 cities from Chengdu, many of which will offer same-day connections to United's new Chengdu service. Boeing 787 DreamlinerThe 787 Dreamliner is revolutionizing the flying experience for United customers and crews while delivering greater operating efficiency and comfort and lower emissions than other aircraft. Customers experience greater comfort with improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems, among other passenger-friendly features. The aircraft's use of lightweight composites, together with its modern engines and improved aerodynamic design, allow it to fly farther, faster and more efficiently than similar-sized conventional aircraft. United was the 787 North American launch customer and now has seven Dreamliners in its fleet. The airline has an additional 58 Dreamliners on order and expects to take delivery of one more from Boeing by the end of 2013.