United Airlines recently launched its flights to Xi’an. The airline is further planning to expand its network in China. Leading U.S. carrier has indicated that it will be launching flights to Hangzhou as well in July 2016.
Media reports said that the move of United Airlines to link some important second-tier cities in China directly to the United States could become possible after the recent U.S.-China air treaty, which doesn’t put any limits or bar on the number of flights to be launched by any airline to secondary cities in comparison to two biggest Chinese markets Beijing and Shanghai.
To fulfill its dream to remain a dominant carrier in China and expand to other international destinations, United Airlines had been making continuous efforts to make good use of its new long-haul 219-seat Boeing Dreamliner aircrafts. The airline considers these aircrafts to be relatively small, but at the same time of being the right size and range for operating on such routes.
United Airlines has been serving Chinese cities for the past 30 years. The airline has continued to grow in China despite several challenges. Travel demand between the two countries has increased significantly prompting both U.S. and Chinese carriers to boost their capacity with more seats and flights services. This has also led to stiff competition among rival carriers thus leading to fares wars too.
The Global Business Travel Association in a recent study indicated that China is going to leave U.S. behind and emerge as the largest business travel market in 2016. The study also said that international travel is showing a strong growth. Considering these facts, United Airlines is therefore trying to maintain aggressive posture and hold sway in the world’s most populous nation China.
Brian Znotins, United Airlines’ Vice President of Network, said, “The demand from Chinese travelers for flights to the United States has led to tremendous growth and doubling of the flights between the two countries in the past five years. The Chinese economy is indeed huge and hot. The middle class is flourishing. The secondary cities in China are now the prime growth engine.”