After months of anticipation, United Airlines will finally be resuming flights to China. Customers won’t have to wait long as the Chicago-based carrier will restart services to Shanghai on July 8th.
Back in business
According to a press release seen by Simple Flying, there will be flights operating twice a week. These services will run between San Francisco and Shanghai’s Pudong Airport via Incheon Airport near Seoul, South Korea.
These trips will be performed by United’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and will leave California on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:00 before arriving in China at 17:45 the next day. The return flight will leave Shanghai at 21:40 on Thursdays and Sundays to land back in San Francisco at 20:55.
The coronavirus outbreak forced United to halt flights to China earlier this year. However, before the suspensions, the company had a significant presence in the country. It previously operated five daily flights between Shanghai and its hubs in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Newark. Moreover, it has served the Chinese municipality for over three decades.
With the climate improving significantly in China over the last few months, operators have been planning to reenter the market for many weeks. However, diplomatic tensions between the US and China meant that carriers had to wait. Nonetheless, United now has the all-clear to resume this transpacific operation. The firm follows Delta with a similar announcement earlier this week.
United’s vice president of international network and alliances, Patrick Quayle, said the following about the highly-anticipated service.
“United’s service to mainland China has been a point of pride for our employees and customers for more than 30 years. Resuming service to Shanghai from the United States is a significant step in rebuilding our international network.”
This service isn’t the only operation across the Pacific that will be returning in July. United will also restart flights between Chicago and Tokyo with the addition of a new service to Haneda Airport. There will also be resumptions to Seoul and Hong Kong, as well as to Singapore via Hong Kong.
Amid global hygiene concerns in the current pandemic, United is emphasizing the introduction of its CleanPlus program. This initiative involves collaboration with disinfectant specialist Clorox and some of the US’ top medical experts at Cleveland Clinic.
Some aspects of United’s approach to passenger and employee safety include:
- Airport social distancing by minimizing contact and the introduction of sneeze guards.
- Requiring everyone on board to wear face masks and temporarily revoking travel privileges for customers who do not follow these requirements.
- Reducing contact with the minimizing of touchpoints by changing current food processes and the temporary removal of inflight items.
- State-of-the-art HEPA grade air circulation systems, which remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles onboard.
- Enhanced cabin sanitization with electrostatic spraying being integrated into cleaning procedures on all inbound long-haul international flights, and mainline overnight aircraft at the operator’s US hubs.
Moreover, even though China has relaxed its international travel restrictions, there are still strict quarantine measures for those entering. Anyone arriving has to isolate for 14 days at a government facility, which has to be paid for out of the passenger’s pocket.
Altogether, if airlines, passengers, and authorities all do their bit to ensure everyone is adhering to the new measures in place, these resumptions will be welcome by several passengers looking to get back in the skies. Undoubtedly, United will be glad to get these flights going again.
What are your thoughts about United resuming flights to Shanghai? Will you be flying with the airline to mainland China soon? Let us know what you think of these services in the comment section.