United seeking approval for non-stop flights to Chengdu

30 Aug 2013 by Clement Huang

United Airlines has applied to the US Department of Transportation seeking approval to begin non-stop service linking its San Francisco hub with Chengdu from June 9 next year.

Chengdu is the fourth largest city in China, and also one of the fastest developing economically, with more than 200 Fortune 500 companies having a presence here.

United intends to use the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner to operate the three-times weekly service to Chengdu. Should its proposal be approved, the Chinese city will become the ninth destination that the airline serves in the Asia-Pacific region non-stop from San Francisco.

The B787-8 will feature a three-class configuration, with 36 seats in Business First (2-2-2 layout), 70 seats in Economy Plus (3-3-3 layout), and 113 seats in economy (3-3-3 layout). Currently, United operates seven Dreamliners in its fleet and has an additional 58 on order. The airline expects to take delivery of one more 787-8 by the end of 2013.

Subject to government approval, the proposed flights will depart San Francisco International Airport (SFO) at 1335 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturday and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 1850 the following day.

The return leg will depart Chengdu at 1000 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrive back at SFO at 0850 the same day. Flight times will be approximately 14 hours and 15 minutes westbound, and 13 hours and 50 minutes eastbound. The non-stop flights will reduce the typical travel time between the two cities by nearly four hours.

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Clement Huang

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