United Airlines today inaugurated service from Xi’an to its hub at San Francisco International Airport — the Chinese city’s first nonstop trans-Pacific service. To celebrate, the airline hosted a ceremony at Xi’an Xianyang International Airport prior to the departure of the first flight, with departing customers and officials from the Shanxi Government, CAAC Northwest Regional Administration representatives and China West Airport Group representatives in attendance.
“There couldn’t be a better way for us to mark our 30th anniversary of serving China than to launch nonstop flights between these two wonderful cities,” said Marcel Fuchs, United’s vice president of Atlantic and Pacific Sales. “With the creation of a new trans-Pacific gateway for China here in Xi’an, we expect to see a wealth of trade and collaboration opportunities between China and the United States, throughout this U.S.-China Tourism Year and long into the future.”
“United Airlines has a long history in China and it’s with great honor that we welcome United as the first U.S. airline to serve Xi’an,” said Xu Qiang, Deputy Director of Shanxi Provincial Development and Reform Commission. “The unrelenting efforts of both parties makes this first nonstop service to the United States a reality. The new route will connect this ancient Chinese city with the modern US high-tech hub, enabling tourists from both sides to travel more conveniently. We’re excited that the people of the Northwest China region now have the opportunity to travel not only to San Francisco, but to a variety of destinations throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America.”
The Xi’an-San Francisco service will operate three times weekly until October 29, 2016 (eastbound). Flight UA852 departs Xi’an’s Xianyang International Airport at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and arrives at San Francisco International Airport at 6:35 a.m. the same days. The return flight, UA853, departs San Francisco at 1:25 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and arrives in Xi’an at 5:30 p.m. the following days (all times local). Flying times are approximately 12 hours, 5 minutes eastbound and 13 hours, 5 minutes westbound.
Convenient Connecting Flights
United has timed the Xi’an 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 250 daily flights from San Francisco to more than 90 destinations throughout North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Onboard Products and Services
The new service is operated with Boeing 787-8 aircrafts, featuring a total of 219 seats – 36 in United BusinessFirst and 183 in United Economy, including 70 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 1.98-m lie-flat bed and features an on-demand entertainment system with a 39-cm touch-screen monitor. BusinessFirst amenities include laptop power, USB ports and a multi-course meal with complimentary wines.
United Economy offers complimentary food, soft drinks and inflight entertainment. Seats feature an adjustable headrest and a 22.8-cm personal seat-back monitor delivering a multi-channel on-demand inflight entertainment system. United Economy Plus offers up to 12.7cm of extra legroom. 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 Xi’an 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.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The 787 Dreamliner is revolutionizing the flying experience for United’s 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 was the 787 North American launch customer and now has 28 Dreamliners in its fleet.
United in China
United started service to China in 1986. Today, United serves Beijing with nonstop flights to Chicago, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C./Dulles; Shanghai with nonstop flights to Chicago, Los Angeles, New York/Newark and San Francisco; Hong Kong with nonstop flights to Chicago, Guam, New York/Newark, and San Francisco; and Chengdu with nonstop flights to San Francisco. 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 codesharing on selected routes and provides customers of both carriers additional travel benefits such as airport lounge access and frequent flyer program reciprocity.