United Airlines has applied to expand service between Newark Liberty International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport beginning in June 2020. Once approved, United passengers will be able to travel to Shanghai from over 90 North American airports via Newark Airport. United is hoping to provide a morning and afternoon departure from both New York/Newark and Shanghai.

“Our application for a second daily flight between New York/Newark and Shanghai is in response to the demand for travel between each country's financial center, which has grown annually for the last several years,” United CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement. “If approved, this additional flight will help facilitate the development of increased business and tourism, provide additional capacity for customers and further enhance United's position both as the airline of choice to China and our hub at Newark Liberty International Airport as the premier East Coast gateway to Asia.”


The expanded schedule will strengthen the airline’s standing as the only American carrier traveling to mainland China and Hong Kong from New York. United began offering flights to and from China in 1986. United currently operates a daily flight from EWR to PVG on a Boeing 777-200. The second daily flight would be aboard the same type of aircraft.

United says demand on the EWR-PVG route has increased by roughly 6 percent annually since 2011, mainly because of Shanghai ‘s growth as a financial hub. United also has a partnership with Air China that provides flights from Shanghai to numerous Chinese and other Asian destinations.

United says there are 21 landing and takeoff openings available in China. United’s application would be for seven of those spots. Delta Air Lines, one of United’s main New York competitors, has also applied for seven airport openings to provide a nonstop flight between Minneapolis and Shanghai, rather than compete with United in New York.

Though United is hoping to increase service from New York to Shanghai, they will continue to offer only one flight daily from Chicago's O'Hare Airport, where the airline has its largest hub.

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Following reforms in the 1970s, China has become a major tourist destination. In 1978, China received roughly 230,000 international foreign tourists, By 2015, this number had increased to almost 60 million. China is the fourth most visited country in the world, after France, the United States, and Spain. The resulting profits from tourism have increased to $120 billion. In 2016, 2,250,000 Americans and 741,000 Canadians visited China. China is also the world leader in international travel, spending more than $261 billion annually. The top destinations for Chinese travelers include Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand and Japan