After a three-year hiatus, United Airlines of the US is scheduled to resume its non-stop flight service between Taipei and San Francisco from April 3, a corporate source said yesterday.
United suspended the flights in April 2003 after an outbreak of SARS in Taiwan in March of that year.
United is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its entry into Taiwan's market this year. It launched its Taipei-Tokyo-San Francisco route in 1986, followed by the opening of Taipei-San Francisco non-stop flights in 1987, said Andrea Wu (吳王小珍), general manager of United Taiwan.
Over the past three years, Wu said, many former United customers who make frequent business trips between San Francisco and Taipei have inquired when the airline would resume direct non-stop flights.
In addition, Wu said, the service is being resumed to meet increasing demand from Taiwan. Last year, 580,000 Taiwanese tourists visited the US, of whom 190,000 visited California, up 7.9 percent over the 2004 figure, making Taiwan the seventh-largest source of foreign visitors to California.
United will use the Boeing 747 series to ply the Taipei-San Francisco route, according to Wu. The flight will depart Taipei at 12:20am every day and arrive in San Francisco at 8:24am the next day. The return flight will depart San Francisco at 1:01pm and arrive in Taipei at 5:20pm the next day.