United Airlines earlier this month launched a 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. Chengdu has become a technology hub for China’s rapidly expanding consumer electronics and computer manufacturing base.
“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.”
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China has 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 will use the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner to operate the three-times-weekly service. 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.
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.
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.