Today, we applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation for the authority to begin nonstop service between our San Francisco hub and Chéngdū, China, the fourth-largest Chinese city. Effective June 9, 2014, we plan to serve this route three times a week with our Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
most advanced passenger aircraft in the skies, the Dreamliner offers
many passenger-friendly features including improved lighting, bigger
windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced
ventilation systems, among other passenger-friendly features.
We began nonstop service to mainland China in 1986 and today we serve Beijing and Shanghai, as well as Hong Kong in the greater China region. If approved, Chéngdū will be the ninth destination we serve in the Asia/Pacific region nonstop from San Francisco. In fact, we offer more nonstop trans-Pacific flights from San Francisco – nearly twice as many – than any other carrier offers from West Coast cities.
The proposed flights, subject to government approval, will depart San Francisco International Airport (SFO) at 1:35 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) at 6:50 p.m. the following day (all times local). Service from Chéngdū would 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 would be approximately 14 hours, 15 minutes westbound and 13 hours, 50 minutes eastbound. This new nonstop flight would shave nearly four hours off the typical travel time between the two cities.
Our service to China
We operate more nonstop China-U.S. flights, and to more cities in China, than any other airline. We’re a founding member of the Star Alliance network, whose members include Air China with whom we have a bilateral partnership. This includes codesharing on select 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 Chéngdū, many of which will offer same-day connections to our new service.
The magic of Chéngdū
The capital of Sichuān province in southwest China, Chéngdū has a population of approximately 14 million in the urban area. Chéngdū has long been established as a national base for the electronics and IT industry and is also a major location for the financial industry. In recent years, the city has been one of the country’s fastest-developing cities economically, and more than 200 Fortune 500 companies – including General Electric, JP Morgan Chase and Nippon Steel Corporation – have a presence in the city.
Chéngdū is also known for its popular Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center, where you can catch a glimpse of Sichuān’s most famous animal residents. Visitors can take a day trip to see the Leshan Grand Buddha – the world’s largest stone Buddha statue at 233 feet high – or stay in town and wander the Qingshiqiao Market’s stalls filled with flowers, seafood, birds and plants.
And let’s not forget the cuisine. Be sure to try one of Sìchuān's most famous dishes: mápó dòufu – soft, fresh bean curd with a fiery sauce of garlic, minced beef, salted soybean, chili oil and Sìchuān pepper.
Onboard products and services
In addition to our service in United BusinessFirst®, United Economy Plus® and United Economy®, our China flights feature additional amenities and services designed 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. Once we have launched our new San Francisco-Chéngdū service, we hope you’ll fly with us and discover the magic of this lively Chinese city.