Network expansion is the name of the game, with United Airlines filling for to operate a route between San Francisco and Xi’an in China.
Plans for the first Trans-Pacific service between the USA and Xi’an would call for a seasonal service to be introduced 3 times a week during the Summer 2016 season.
The planned timetable looks like this:
DEPART SFO 13:25 ARRIVE XIY 17:30+1 Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays DEPART XIY 10:30 ARRIVE SFO 07:35 Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays Planned operation: 8 May 2016 and 27 October 2016 Planned equipment: Boeing 787 Dreamliner
United Airlines have filed for route operations with US Department if Transport to operate the route, and as such, the route is subject to approval.
Flight times are going to be rather long, with 13 hours, 5 minutes westbound and 12 hours, 5 minutes eastbound. If you’re in United Economy especially those 17.3″ seat width, are going to feel tight after at least 12 hours in the air.
United will offer two class service – United Business First and United Economy Class. Economy Plus seating will be offered as well.
Bookings will be opened at a later point, pending the approval of the route.
It’s an interesting addition to the United Airlines route network as they attempt to branch away from the entry points into China (Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu), with Xi’an famed for the home of the Terracotta Warrior Army and the economic centre of Central China.
The challenge for United will be if they can sustain more than a seasonal service between San Francisco and Xi’an.
None the less, route expansion is good as airlines find new markets to operate to.
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