Additional routes to China are springing up all over the place these days. And this week, there are three new ones from United, American and China Eastern.
At San Francisco International, United plans a July 13 launch (subject to government approval) for new non-stop service to Hangzhou, the capital city of China’s Zhejiang Province, located 102 miles southwest of Shanghai. United will fly the route three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday westbound) using a 252-seat 787-9 Dreamliner with 48 seats in BusinessFirst and 204 in economy (including 88 Economy Plus seats). Hangzhou will be the fifth Chinese city served by United from San Francisco, along with Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Hong Kong. The airline also plans to offer seasonal service from SFO to Xi’an from May 8 to October 27. Hangzhou is located about 110 miles southwest of Shanghai. Its metropolitan area is China’s fourth largest with a population of nearly 9 million. Fare info won’t be available until the flights get government approval – but currently, United nonstops between SFO and nearby Shanghai are running as low as $535 roundtrip in economy, $4,300 in business class.
At Los Angeles International, American Airlines this week confirmed long-rumored plans to start flying to Hong Kong. The new daily non-stops will begin September 7 (subject to regulatory approvals), and American will use a 777-300ER on the route, offering eight first class, 52 business class, 220 regular economy and 30 Main Cabin Extra seats. The westbound flights out of LAX will have a rather unfortunate departure time of 1:55 a.m. The new LAX-Hong Kong service will be operated as part of AA’s joint venture with Japan Airlines. It’s part of American’s ongoing transpacific growth at LAX, which also includes new non-stops to Tokyo Haneda that started last month, LAX-Sydney flights that kicked off in December, and LAX-Auckland service that will begin June 23.
Finally, China Eastern Airlines – a member of Delta’s SkyTeam alliance – said it will launch new daily service on March 18 between Chicago O’Hare and Shanghai Pudong , where it offers scores of connections to other cities in China and Asia. The carrier said it will use a 777-300ER on the route, with first class, business class and economy seating, and Wi-Fi throughout. China Eastern said customers in first and business will be offered free luxury car transfers from the airport in Shanghai, and that similar transfers at O’Hare will be available “soon.”
NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: Should I tip my Uber driver? + Boeing 747 nearing its end? + Bargain hunters travel guide for 2016 + World’s best airline lounge? + Fares to Europe tumble