United Airlines announced that it would resume its service and welcome flights from San Francisco to Shanghai this month. The carrier revealed that it would operate twice a week beginning July 8.
United Airlines announced that it would resume its operations and engage international flights to-and-from San Francisco International Airport and Shanghai's Pudong International Airport via Seoul's Incheon International Airport. The flights would commence by July 8, 2020.
The announcement also read that flights from SFO to China are scheduled on Wednesdays and Saturdays, while return flights from China to SFO would be on Thursdays and Sundays. United Airlines would only accommodate twice-weekly flights.
The passengers would also need to adhere to the company's updated safety protocols which include the using of face masks at all times and filling out a health questionnaire.
The flights would be operated on the Boeing 777-300ER. Before the suspension of flights due to the pandemic, US United Airlines was operating five daily flights between China's Shanghai International Airport and other US main hubs such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) lifted the ban for international passenger flights last June. This paved the way for more foreign carriers entering China's territory on a once-a-week basis for some since June 8.
China may also increase flight grants to some qualified countries not severely affected by the pandemic. Nonetheless, they would need to observe strict compliance of health and safety measures to control risks and adequate receiving capacities.
According to the vice president of United Airlines Patrick Quayle, the company's service to mainland China has been consistently enjoying the regular influx of employees and customers for more than 30 years. He added that the resumption of flight plans to Shanghai from the US is a significant step that would rebuild the international network, particularly in travel. United Airlines flights and operations between China and the US was temporarily shut down last February due to pandemic concerns.
Before the grant of resumption of United Airlines operations, Delta Air Lines was granted the resumption between mainland China and the US last June 25. Since then, more airlines have been allowed access to China. The allowance was by the US Department of Transportation (DOT)'s an effort in lifting the ban against China's airlines into the US. However, the DOT did not give a weekly limit for flights. Hence, US Airlines travelling to and from China would have to observe the generally acceptable limitations set forth between the two countries.