United to further tap fast-growing Chinese market

Updated 2017-11-09 09:33:09 China Daily
Workers in superhero costumes wave goodbye to passengers boarding Flight MF849, a direct service between Fuzhou, Fujian province, and New York. (Photo: Xinhua/Song Weiwei)

Workers in superhero costumes wave goodbye to passengers boarding Flight MF849, a direct service between Fuzhou, Fujian province, and New York. (Photo: Xinhua/Song Weiwei)

United Airlines is cashing in on China's rapid development and the fast-growing number of outbound tourists, according to a senior executive.

United is now the dominant carrier between China and the United States, providing more services than any other airline, with direct flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Sichuan province, and Xi'an, Shaanxi province.

"United continues to pioneer new transpacific routes from China, and is ready to add capacity where we see sufficient demand," Marcel Fuchs, vice-president of Atlantic and Pacific sales at the airline, said in an interview on Tuesday.

He added that the growing number of Chinese tourists is playing a major role.

"China is a very important market for United, and it's growing rapidly," he said.

The country now accounts for approximately 10 percent of United's international business travelers.

According to the US Department of Commerce, 2.97 million Chinese tourists traveled to the US last year, a rise of 15 percent from the previous year, and they spent a combined billion, a rise of 9 percent from 2015.

The US has enjoyed 13 consecutive years of rising visitor numbers from China, 12 of them attracting double-digit growth.

"We will continue to encourage tourism, and we see tremendous growth opportunities between China and the US," Fuchs said.

The flights to Chengdu and Xi'an, plus an additional service to Shanghai, were all added in the past few years.

All services from Chengdu and Xi'an connect with San Francisco, which is a major business and leisure destination in its own right, Fuchs said.

From San Francisco, United operates about 260 flights daily to more than 90 destinations in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Fuchs cited the direct transpacific services from Chengdu and Xi'an as demonstrations of both the airline's commitment to the market and its biggest strength-its unmatched network between China and the US and beyond.

"China's social and economic reforms have transformed and reshaped the industrial, commercial, and regulatory landscapes of its developing non-Tier-1 cities," he said.

"As living standards and the business environment improve, these cities have enormous market potential and people's purchasing power is rising. United sees huge business potential in these non-tier-1 markets."

In addition to services to the US, United operates a twice-weekly service from Shanghai to Guam, the only scheduled direct flights between the Chinese mainland and the unincorporated US territory, along with four flights a week from Hong Kong.

"We are constantly evaluating additional destinations throughout China and beyond. We will continue to solidify our footprint as the No 1 US carrier to China in the future," Fuchs said.

He added that United is eager to engage with the Chinese market, a move signalled by the airline's growing presence on WeChat, one of China's most-popular social-media apps.

"(It) allows us to engage with and interact with our Chinese customers," he said.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58January 18 2019 05:14:11

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16January 18 2019 05:14:11

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18January 18 2019 05:14:11

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords