UPDATE: On Sept. 22, United said it plans to start flying next year between San Francisco and Xi'An China. Subject to government approval, United will fly three times per week beginning May 8.
SECOND UPDATE: On Oct. 8, United announced the other two 787 routes. It will fly from San Francisco to Tel Aviv and Auckland starting next year.
ORIGINAL POST: I'm hearing United Airlines is considering three new long-haul international routes next summer from San Francisco International Airport.
This is preliminary stuff, but I understand the airline is considering two, less-than-daily international routes with the Boeing 787-8 and one daily route with the larger Boeing 787-9.
Do you have any guesses about what these new routes might be, assuming they happen?
I suspect the two less-than-daily routes could be to secondary cities in China. Carriers tend to start with non-daily service as they try to build up the market. That's what United is doing with newish service to Chengdu from San Francisco.
I've always wondered if a nonstop to Singapore would be possible with the Boeing 787-9. Since Singapore Airlines canceled its Newark and Los Angeles to Singapore A340 nonstop service a couple of years ago, there have been no flights from the U.S. to the city-state.
It is my understanding that Singapore would be difficult but perhaps not impossible from San Francisco. But I suspect any airline doing it would have to keep some seats out of service. [UPDATE: A tipster tells me it is very unlikely United would do Singapore. I am also told that the new daily route could simply be a second frequency on an existing route.]
I know many of my readers know far more about route possibilities and aircraft performance than I do. So perhaps you can share some of your expertise and ideas in the comments section.
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