United Airlines Resuming China Flights In July

Filed Under: United

United Airlines has today officially announced that it will be resuming China flights soon.

United Airlines will fly to Shanghai as of July 8

United Airlines will resume twice weekly nonstop flights between San Francisco and Shanghai as of July 8, 2020. The route will be operated with Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, with the following schedule:

UA857 San Francisco to Shanghai departing 11:00AM arriving 5:45PM (+1 day)
UA858 Shanghai to San Francisco departing 9:40PM arriving 8:55PM

United will fly its flagship Boeing 777-300ER to Shanghai

The flight will operate westbound on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and eastbound on Thursdays and Sundays.

As before, there continue to be significant restrictions on travel between the US and China, so not everyone will be able to take these flights. For example, the US is restricting entry from China to those who are from the US, their family, etc.

United Airlines canceled passenger service to mainland China as of early February. While the airline has operated some cargo-only flights, this represents the return of passenger service for United to China.

As Patrick Quayle, United’s VP of International Network and Alliances, describes this move:

“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.”

Prior to the pandemic, United was the largest US airline operating flights to China, with five daily flights between Shanghai and US gateways in Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, and San Francisco.

Also in July, United Airlines will reinstate other Pacific routes, including Chicago to Tokyo, as well as service to Seoul, service to Hong Kong, and service to Singapore via Hong Kong.

United Airlines will fly a 777-300ER to Shanghai

Delta Air Lines resumed China flights yesterday

United Airlines is becoming the second US airline to return to mainland China, after Delta. Delta resumed flights between Seattle and Shanghai yesterday, and plans on adding Detroit to Shanghai flights shortly.

The major difference is that Delta is operating all China flights via Seoul Incheon for the time being, so that crews can lay over in South Korea rather than in China. United Airlines isn’t taking the same approach, so I’m curious how the logic of the two airlines differs.

Delta resumed China flights yesterday

Bottom line

United Airlines will become the second major US airline to resume China flights, with a twice weekly San Francisco to Shanghai service. Delta resumed China flights yesterday, while American hasn’t announced plans to restart China flights anytime in the next few months.

What do you make of United resuming Shanghai flights?

  1. UA’s currently using GUM for their current cargo flights in the same way DL’s using ICN their passenger flights. A bit disappointed and confused why this wasn’t also extended to UA’s passenger flights. Was looking forward to a short lived direct GUM-mainland passenger flight. .-.

  2. And there’re people hope United can fly their high density 8-abreast 777-200 to Shanghai (Though can’t, it’s not ER or LR)
    The whole thing is messed up.

  3. At this point, the crew is at far higher risk of catching COVID in the US than during a layover in either China or Korea.

  4. @leo sadly there won’t be a mainland-gum flight for quite a while 🙁 UA were to introduce a SFO-GUM direct in January 2021 but will likely now be shelved. They planned on timing the flight for European connections as CI,KE,OZ had seen massive upswing in bookings to GUM & ROR from Europe, we can dream!

  5. UA will be using ICN to change crew as well, as you see the westbound time between SFO to PVG is over 15h+, in the announcement UA also said via ICN

  6. Earlier this week UA was showing direct service between SFO – ICN using a 787-9 for later this summer/fall. Now it looks like everything is via NRT, a few exceptions via HKG.

  7. @bsp but right now it shows via HKG.

    I know it’s very difficult times for the airlines but UA is a train wreck. East Coast US to ICN is $3K in economy, over $6K in premium economy. DL on the other hand is less than $3K for premium economy. I have almost 500 points on UA I would like to use, but their routes and pricing are wearing thin on me. It may be time for his 1K to jump ship like others. Losing the flight to NRT was bad too. No one in their right mind would go via HND when you’re looking at an 8 hour or greater transit time to continue on to other Asian destinations.

  8. @Arcanum

    But as we see second wave of the Wuhan Virus hitting Beijing, clearly by now ICN TPE or HKG will be safer than China by a lot

    And UA will undoubtedly choose ICN for a better routing

  9. UA crew will not overnight in Shanghai. By law, everyone will be test in Shanghai if they were to enter. if UA crew overnight in Shanghai, and test positive on arrival, they would be stuck

  10. At the current rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if China banned incoming air travel from the US.

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