United will fly from San Francisco to Shanghai on July 8.

By Cailey Rizzo
June 30, 2020

United will relaunch its flights to China after a several-months suspension on July 8.

United, along with other U.S. airlines, halted flights to China in February due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline tried to resume flights earlier in the year but could not, because of a dispute between the U.S. and China.

United announced in a press release that it will operate twice-weekly flights between San Francisco and Shanghai's Pudong International Airport via Seoul's Incheon International Airport. The flights will be aboard a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and will depart San Francisco on Wednesdays and Saturdays and return on Thursdays and Sundays.

"United's service to mainland China has been a point of pride for our employees and customers for more than 30 years,"  United's vice president of International Network and Alliances, Patrick Quayle, said in a statement. "Resuming service to Shanghai from the United States is a significant step in rebuilding our international network."

United Airlines plane
Credit: Courtesy of United

United will also reinstate service to Seoul and Hong Kong. The airline will also fly to Singapore, via Hong Kong, and will resume its flights from Chicago to Tokyo in July.

Before shutting down for COVID-19, United was the largest U.S. with service to China. The airline operated five daily flights to Shanghai, from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York/Newark.

When airlines tried to resume China service earlier this year, they were effectively barred from doing so due to a loophole in China’s post-COVID reopening procedure. The loophole caused the U.S. Department of Transportation to temporarily ban Chinese airlines from flying into U.S. airspace. China eventually reversed its stance and allowed U.S. airlines to resume flying.

Last week, Delta became the first U.S. airline to resume its flights to China. On June 25, the first Delta flight from Seattle to Shanghai took off.