Hangzhou to get first direct link to US

The Chinese city of Hangzhou will be connected to the US for the first time this summer, when United Airlines launches a new direct service from San Francisco.

Continuing the US carrier’s trans-Pacific expansion from its Californian hub, United will commence thrice weekly direct flights from San Francisco to Hangzhou, the capital of eastern China’s Zhejiang province, on 13 July 2016.

Hangzhou is home to the scenic West Lake area
Hangzhou is home to the scenic West Lake area

Flights will depart San Francisco every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 1415 and arrive at Hangzhou’s Xiaoshan International Airport at 1810 the following day. The return services will depart at 1130 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and arrive back at San Francisco at 0825. The flight time is approximately 12-13 hours.

United will operate the route using its new 252-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which offers 48 seats in business class, 88 in premium economy and 116 in economy.

“We look forward to welcoming Hangzhou to our global route network using the customer-favourite 787-9 Dreamliner,” said Jim Compton, United’s vice chairman & chief revenue officer. “We will offer customers unique nonstop flights between the West Coast and one of China’s fastest-growing travel markets. Additionally, customers traveling from China to the US will find convenient, easy connections at our San Francisco hub to many US business centres and leisure destinations.”

Hangzhou will become the fifth mainland Chinese city that United flies to, following Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Xi’an. It will also become the 14th Asia Pacific destination the airline serves from San Francisco, including a new seasonal service to Xi’an which will run from 8 May to 27 October 2016.

Hangzhou, which is located 165km from Shanghai, is home to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed West Lake area.

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