|Charissa Echavez |||Jul 19, 2016 10:21 AM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images) United Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California.
United Airlines launched a three-times-a-week, non-stop service from San Francisco, USA, to the southeast Chinese city of Hangzhou, on Wednesday, July 13, marking the airline's fifth city in mainland China and 14th in the Asia/Pacific region.
Dubbed as "China's Silicon Valley," Hangzhou is the fifth international route United has introduced from San Francisco since May. The four other direct flights were Auckland, New Zealand; Singapore; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Xi'an, China.
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"The Hangzhou service is a great addition to our growing portfolio of mainland China destinations, including three interior cities that no other airline serves from the United States," Marcel Furchs, United VP Atlantic and Pacific sales, said. He added that the new route will give US' passenger a convenient access to China's dynamic hub and at the same time providing Chinese passengers direct access to the San Francisco gateway.
"We are connecting the Silicon Valley (of California) with the Silicon Valley of China. So we know there's going to be strong demand," Fuchs said. "Or you may want to see many of the cultural sites, which is the West Lake or the Great Canal, or many museums."
He noted that this is the best time to start the new service since this year marks the China-U.S. Tourism Year, and the city of Hangzhou has been chosen to be the venue of the G20 summit, which is schedule for September.
Flight UA 982 will depart from San Francisco at 2:20 p.m. (local time) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays and will arrive in Hangzhou at 6:10 p.m. the following day. The travel time is estimated to be 12 hours and 55 minutes westbound. The return flight US 983 will leave Hangzhou at 10:55 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and will arrive at San Francisco at 7:50 a.m. the same day. The flight will be 11 hours and 55 minutes eastbound.
The non-stop flights will be carried out using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which is arguably the most advanced passenger aircraft in the world.
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