SAN FRANCISCO—Flights from San Francisco to China are planned to resume soon with reported approval from the Shanghai government, as indicated on June 16.
Caixin Global reported on June 16 that beginning July 6, United Airlines Inc. intends to begin flying from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG).
A spokesperson from United Airlines told the San Francisco News that some details are still up in the air.
“We welcome efforts to allow for resumption of our service between the U.S. and China for the benefit of our customers. United aims to re-launch our service to China in the weeks ahead,” said the spokesperson.
On January 31, major airlines including Delta Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines all decided to suspend flights to China due to the transmission dangers of the coronavirus. United’s flight service to China officially stopped on February 6, but the airline had the intention of reopening its China routes on March 28.
As the pandemic escalated, United Airlines later announced in a statement on February 28 that it would be extending the suspension of flights to Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai, and Hong Kong until April 30. The reopening date was pushed back as COVID-19 became a long-term concern.
The Chinese government placed restrictions on international flight routes in response to coronavirus concerns. Domestic airlines in China were urged to reorganize their flight routes so that all Chinese airlines would have only one route per country and one flight per week.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China similarly asked foreign airlines to reduce flights to China to one per week.
In mid-May, United Airlines tried to reestablish its China flight routes, but faced obstacles due to the Chinese government’s continued flight restrictions.
Routes from San Francisco to China are lucrative for United. The airline posted a sign at SFO explaining that the technology company Apple is responsible for $150 million of United Airlines revenue. The sign also mentioned that the route from SFO to PVG is Apple’s most important market—the company buys 50 business class seats on that flight every day.
Though Caixin Global has reported a restart date of July 6 for SFO-PVG flights, a United Airlines spokesperson noted that more solid details on the relaunch dates of China flight routes will become available by the end of the week and that there are still certain networking logistics to be figured out.