United Airlines has applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for the authority to operate 787 service from San Francisco to Xi'an, China.
If granted approval, it will be the first-ever transpacific service to Xi'an operated by an airline, and United will be the first U.S. airline to serve the city. The service would operate on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner three times a week, beginning May 8 through October 27, 2016.
"Assuming our application is approved, United customers will have unique nonstop flights to one of China's most vibrant cities, with fast and easy connections to destinations throughout the Americas from our San Francisco hub," said Jim Compton, United's vice chairman and chief revenue officer.
United Airlines thanked DOT, the U.S. Department of State and the Civil Aviation Administration of China for their negotiations to open the new nonstop service, along with the Provincial Government of Shaanxi, and past and present leadership of the government of Xi'an.
The proposed service, which is subject to government approval, will depart from San Francisco International Airport at 1:25pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and arrive in Xi'an at 5:30pm the following days, local time. Return flights will depart Xi'an's Xianyang International Airport at 10:30am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 7:35am the same days. Flight times will be approximately 13 hours, 5 minutes westbound and 12 hours, 5 minutes eastbound.
The Xi'an-San Francisco flights will be available to book at a later date, pending approval.