United to Fly Direct SF to Chengdu in 2014
It will be easier to go to Chengdu starting next year.
I am also a fan of airplanes. The Boeing 787 is the newest plane from Boeing…
United Airlines took a major step forward toward global connectivity on Thursday, announcing that it wants to begin flights between San Francisco and Chengdu, China starting in June 2014. The route, pending government approval, would be the first nonstop flight on an American carrier from the United States to a secondary mainland Chinese city – that is, not Shanghai or Beijing. It will fly three times per week.
Of course, “secondary” is relative here, as Chengdu has more than 14 million residents in its metro area. But it’s a big deal because it’s the type of route the Boeing 787 was built for. The fuel efficient airplane can fly long distances, but it’s not as big as some of the other aircraft flying between the U.S. and China, like the 777 and 747. United 787s are configured with 219 seats.
The whole idea of the 787 is to open new markets that had not previously been financially viable. So far, with a few exceptions, that hasn’t really happened. But United’s move could portend well for the future.
During our 2013 trip, most of us took the China Southern new double-decker A380, the largest plane in the world.