United's Summer of Global Expansion Continues with Fifth New Route from Asia/Pacific Gateway: San Francisco-Hangzhou, China

United to launch first-ever nonstop service by a U.S. airline

Hangzhou joins United's international launch schedule from San Francisco to Tel Aviv, Xi'an, Singapore and Auckland

Mar 08, 2016, 16:30 ET from United Airlines

CHICAGO, March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced that it will introduce three-times-weekly nonstop flights between its West Coast Asia/Pacific hub at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Hangzhou's Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) in China, beginning July 13, 2016 (westbound), subject to government approval. United will use one of the world's most advanced passenger aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, to operate the service. 

Hangzhou, the capital of China's Zhejiang province, will be the fifth mainland China city that United serves and the 14th Asia/Pacific destination the airline serves from San Francisco. With 30 years of service to China, United operates more nonstop U.S.-China flights to more cities in China than any other U.S. airline, and offers more trans-Pacific flights to more cities from San Francisco than any airline offers at competing hub airports. 

"We look forward to welcoming Hangzhou to our global route network using the customer-favorite 787-9 Dreamliner," said Jim Compton, United's vice chairman and chief revenue officer. "We will offer customers unique nonstop flights between the West Coast and one of China's fastest-growing travel markets. Additionally, customers traveling from China to the U.S. will find convenient, easy connections at our San Francisco hub to many U.S. business centers and leisure destinations."

United's service between San Francisco and Hangzhou will feature amenities and services designed for Chinese customers, including:

  • Mandarin-speaking flight attendants;
  • Personalized inflight entertainment options, including Chinese-language services; and
  • A wide selection of inflight meals and beverages, including Chinese-style cuisine.

"At United, we want to be the airline that our Chinese customers choose first," said Eliza Lin, United's director of Sales for Eastern China. "We are bringing our customers in China and the U.S. the choice, comfort and convenience they deserve, and our growing trans-Pacific network offers customers more ways to travel between the U.S. and China."

United's service to Hangzhou offers business and leisure customers convenient options for travel to Shanghai and China's central coast. Located approximately 102 miles southwest of Shanghai, customers arriving in Hangzhou can access several options for rail, bus and car travel to Shanghai.

Flight Schedule

UA 982 will depart San Francisco at 2:15 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and arrive in Hangzhou at 6:10 p.m. the following day (all times local). Flight time will be 12 hours, 55 minutes westbound. The return flight, UA 983, will depart Hangzhou at 11:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrive at San Francisco at 8:25 a.m. the same day (all times local). Flight time will be 11 hours, 55 minutes eastbound.

The Hangzhou-San Francisco flights will be available to book at a later date.

Convenient Connecting Flights

United has timed the Hangzhou flights to connect conveniently at San Francisco with an extensive network of service throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America. United operates more than 260 flights daily from San Francisco to more than 90 destinations throughout North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, including more than 69 served non-stop. 

United in China

United celebrated its 30th anniversary of service to China in February 2016.  Today, United 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 plans to operate seasonal nonstop service to Xi'an from its San Francisco hub during the period of May 8 to October 27, 2016 (westbound), subject to government approval.

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 both carriers additional travel benefits such as airport lounge access and frequent flyer program reciprocity.

Onboard Products and Services

The Boeing 787-9 aircraft operating the new San Francisco-Hangzhou service will feature a total of 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space. 

United BusinessFirst offers a superior business-class service. The BusinessFirst seat reclines 180 degrees into a lie-flat bed and features a personal on-demand entertainment system with a 15" touch-screen monitor. BusinessFirst amenities include laptop power, USB ports, noise-reduction headsets, amenity kits featuring Soho House's Cowshed skin-care products, duvet-style blankets and a multi-course meal with complimentary wines.

United Economy offers complimentary food, soft drinks, juices, beer and wine, tea, coffee and inflight entertainment. Seats feature an adjustable headrest and seat-back monitor delivering a personal on-demand entertainment system. 

United Economy Plus offers additional legroom and is located near the front of the Economy cabin. The seats give the added benefit of allowing a swifter exit from the plane upon arrival. The aircraft offers satellite-based Wi-Fi and power outlets.

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 have expressed a preference for the 787 versus other aircraft, given its greater comfort with improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems, among other passenger-friendly features.

The 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 27 787 Dreamliners in its fleet. Download a high-resolution photo of the United 787 at http://newsroom.united.com/Boeing787.

About United

United Airlines and United Express operate an average of nearly 5,000 flights a day to 342 airports across six continents. In 2015, United and United Express operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 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 more than 700 mainline aircraft, and this year, the airline anticipates taking delivery of 20 new Boeing aircraft, including 737 NGs, 787s and 777s.

The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 28 member airlines. Approximately 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.

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SOURCE United Airlines



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