United Airlines Resumes Nonstop Service to Shanghai, China

United Airlines Resumes Nonstop Service to Shanghai, China

Joe Cortez

United Airlines will resume direct international service between the United States and China. Starting Oct. 21, 2020, flyers will be able to fly nonstop between San Francisco International Airport and Shanghai Pudong Airport, without a stopover in Seoul, South Korea.

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, United Airlines will offer direct service between the United States and China without the need for a stopover in-between. In a press release, the airline announced the resumed service would begin on Oct. 21, 2020.

Renewed Service Offers Direct Option Between U.S. and China

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, United and other airlines were forced to suspend service between the United States and China due to government bans and an abundance of caution in spreading the novel Coronavirus. As regulations slowly started to open, the Chicago-based carrier resumed service, but with a stopover in Seoul, South Korea.

With the new announcement, United will once again operate a direct route between the United States and one of China’s major cities starting Oct. 21. Operated on a Boeing 777-300ER, the aircraft will depart San Francisco International Airport (SFO) for Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Chicago-based carrier will offer return flights every Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Tickets are now on sale on the United website and mobile app.

“United continues playing a critical role in keeping people and global supply chains connected to Shanghai and to cities around the world,” Patrick Quayle, vice president of international network and alliances, said in the press release. “We look forward to resuming nonstop service and offering our customers greater convenience and shorter flight times between San Francisco and Shanghai.”

Prior to the pandemic, United offered service between the U.S. and Shanghai via four hub cities: Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark and San Francisco. It’s unclear when the airline will add additional direct routes.

New Routes Comes as United Introduces COVID-19 Testing

The direct routes come after United announced they would begin offering COVID-19 tests for flyers departing their San Francisco hub to four destinations in Hawaii. United has not yet said if the COVID testing will be expanded to include flights to and from the Chinese mainland.