Non-stop flights from San Francisco to Guangzhou to begin in 2008

Direct service between San Francisco International Airport and China's third most populous city will begin early next year, airport officials announced today.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded United Airlines non-stop service between SFO and the port city of Guangzhou, China, to begin in the spring of 2008, according to SFO spokesman Mike McCarron.

"United Airlines is honored to be selected as the first U.S. carrier to provide non-stop service between San Francisco and Guangzhou, important cities in the world economy," said the company's CEO Glenn Tilton in a written statement.

According to McCarron, flights could begin in March.

Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong Province in southern China and is located about 75 miles northwest of Hong Kong. It is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country.

SFO already serves Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

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