CHICAGO, Sept. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for authority to begin seasonal nonstop service between the airline's San Francisco hub and Xi'an, China. If approved, this will be the first trans-Pacific service to Xi'an operated by any airline, and United will be the first U.S. airline to serve the city.
United intends to use the world's most advanced passenger airplane, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, to operate the three-times-weekly service between May 8 and Oct. 27, 2016 (westbound).
"We are excited by the prospect of adding the first trans-Pacific Xi'an service to United's global route network," said Jim Compton, United's vice chairman and chief revenue officer. "Assuming our application is approved, United customers will have unique nonstop flights to one of China's most vibrant cities, with fast and easy connections to destinations throughout the Americas from our San Francisco hub."
United thanks DOT, the U.S. Department of State and the Civil Aviation Administration of China for their negotiations to open nonstop service from the United States to interior points in China. The airline also acknowledges the Provincial Government of Shaanxi and the past and present leadership of the government of Xi'an, the ancestral home of President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China, for their forward-thinking air service development efforts.
The proposed flights, subject to government approval, will depart San Francisco International Airport at 1:25 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and arrive in Xi'an at 5:30 p.m. the following days (all times local). The return flights will depart Xi'an's Xianyang International Airport at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 7:35 a.m. the same days. Flying times will be approximately 13 hours, 5 minutes westbound and 12 hours, 5 minutes eastbound.
The Xi'an-San Francisco flights will be available to book at a later date, pending approval.
Xi'an is the capital of Shaanxi Province in central China, at the eastern end of the Silk Road. With a population of more than 8 million, it is one of China's oldest cities and an important cultural, economic and educational center. The plains surrounding Xi'an are home to the famed Bingmayong (Terracotta Warriors), thousands of life-size, hand-molded figures buried with China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The 787 Dreamliner is revolutionizing the flying experience for United customers and crews while delivering unprecedented operating efficiency, comfort and lower emissions. 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 currently has 19 787 Dreamliners in its fleet and expects to take delivery of six more by the end of 2015.
United in China
United operates more nonstop U.S.-China flights, and to more cities in China, than any other airline.
The airline began nonstop service to the country 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, Guam, Los Angeles, New York/Newark and San Francisco; Chengdu with nonstop flights from San Francisco; and Hong Kong with nonstop flights from Chicago, Guam, Ho Chi Minh City, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Singapore.
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 code-sharing on selected routes and provides customers with additional travel benefits such as airport lounge access and frequent flyer program reciprocity.
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of nearly 5,000 flights a day to 362 airports across six continents. In 2014, United and United Express operated nearly two million flights carrying 138 million customers. United is proud to have the world's most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft, and this year, the airline anticipates taking delivery of 34 new Boeing aircraft, including the 787-9 and the 737-900ER. United is also welcoming 49 new Embraer E175 aircraft to United Express. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 28 member airlines. More than 84,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.
SOURCE United Airlines