United now flies direct from S'pore to San Francisco

Travellers can now fly directly from Singapore to San Francisco on United Airlines.

The first non-stop flight service between the two cities was inaugurated yesterday, allowing travellers to save up to four hours each way.

United is currently the only carrier to offer a direct service to the United States from Singapore. Singapore Airlines will restart its non-stop services to New York and Los Angeles only in 2018.

United's new ultra-long-haul flight - an estimated 16-hour journey - will be operated on its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. With the journey spanning 13,592km, it will be the longest commercial B-787 flight by any airline.

The inaugural flight took off from Changi Airport yesterday amid celebrations attended by the US Embassy's Deputy Chief of Missions Blair Hall and Changi Airport Group officials.

Said Mr Marcel Fuchs, United's vice-president of Atlantic and Pacific sales: "We are excited about the potential for increased travel between Singapore and San Francisco, two cities that continue to develop apace as centres of commercial activity and as popular leisure destinations." Noting that this year marks the 50th year of formal diplomatic ties between Singapore and the US, Mr Hall added: "The enhanced interaction...cements our commitment to deepen our commercial and cultural ties."

The aircraft features a total of 252 seats - 48 in BusinessFirst and 204 in Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with extra leg room and space.

From Singapore, UA2 departs at 8.45am daily and arrives in San Francisco at 9.15am the same day, while UA1 departs San Franciso at 11.25pm daily, arriving in Singapore at 6.45am two days later.

The demand for Singapore-US flights is growing steadily. Between 2010 and 2014, total passenger traffic between the two markets grew by an average of 4 per cent a year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2016, with the headline 'United now flies direct from S'pore to San Francisco'. Print Edition | Subscribe