United Airlines Applies to Fly Daily to South China

BEIJING (XFN-ASIA) - United Airlines is applying to fly a daily non-stop service between Guangzhou and San Francisco, a move that could make it the first US carrier flying to south China, state media reported.

"We believe that the new flight will offer more choices to business travellers and bring more business opportunities to the Pearl River Delta," the China Daily quoted Sidney Kwok, United's general manager for China, as saying.

United would fly Boeing 747 aircraft on the route, the newspaper said.

Currently only China Southern Airlines flies between Guangdaong province and the US, with five weekly flights from Guangzhou to Los Angeles.

Guangdong province is an economic powerhouse, with imports of 189.82 bln usd in 2005, accounting for 28.8 pct of the national total, according to Ministry of Commerce figures.

The province recorded exports of 238.16 bln usd last year, accounting for 31.3 pct of China's total.

The US is Guangdong's second-largest trading partner after Hong Kong, the newspaper said.

China and the US signed a landmark air transport liberalization pact in 2004 which, at the end of a six-year phase-in period, will increase the number of weekly roundtrip flights allowed between the two countries to 249 from 54, the newspaper added.

The two countries signed the six-year bilateral aviation agreement in July 2004.


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