United approved for Chengdu flights

Washington DC
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The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved United Airlines' planned nonstop between San Francisco and Chengdu, China, its latest Boeing 787 route.

The Chicago-based Star Alliance carrier plans to launch three-times weekly flights with a 219-seat 787-8 aircraft on 9 June 2014. It would be the first route by a US carrier to Chengdu.

The DOT granted authority to United for two years through 6 September 2015, in a regulatory filing on 6 September.

The airline could launch more flights to secondary cities in China if Chengdu performs well.

"If Chengdu performs to our expectations, we really think this could be the tip of the iceberg," said Andy Buchanan, managing director of international planning at United, in a recent interview with Flightglobal.