Continuing with their steady growth in Asia, United Airlines has announced new service, pending government approval, to Xian, China (XIY) from San Francisco (SFO). The flight would operate a seasonal summer schedule of 3x a week from May 10, through October 29 on a Boeing 787-8.
“We are excited by the prospect of adding the first trans-Pacific Xi’an service to United’s global route network,” said Jim Compton, who serves as 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.”
Adding more flights to interior China has been a goal of the U.S. airlines, as the International Air Transport Association has projected the country to be home of the largest passenger market by 2030. United leads the “Big Three” airlines in destinations to China, already serving Chengdu, Peking, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.The airline hopes that service to Xian, a popular summer city with several tourist attractions such as the famous Terracotta Army, will further open up international growth and partnerships. This will be the first route to the U.S. from Xian, offering an easy opportunity for business travelers from interior China to travel to North America.
United has seen great success with the Boeing 787-8, and currently maintains 19 of the aircraft along with scheduled deliveries for five more this year.The aircraft will be configured with 36 Business First seats, 70 Economy Plus seats, and 113 Economy seats. This move will also allow for the connection of United Airlines to its Star Alliance partner, Shenzhen Airlines. With over 20 destinations from the Chinese airline from Xian and over 90 destinations from United in San Francisco, passengers will have several destinations to choose from if connecting through XIY or SFO.