Repost from China Daily:

China Southern Airlines officially launched a new non-stop route from San Francisco to Wuhan at a news conference at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on Tuesday.

The flight, which will run three days per week deploying Boeing 787 jets that seat 226, also continues on to Guangzhou. The entire trip from San Francisco to Guangzhou takes about 15 hours.

San Francisco becomes the third US destination for Guangzhou-based China Southern, which also serves Los Angeles and New York.

“We will open another new direct Guangzhou-San Francisco route next June,” said Yang Lihuang, executive vice-president of China Southern Air Holding Co, at the conference.

“China Southern Airlines will further accelerate friendly communications between China and the US, better meet the needs of trade development in Guangzhou, Wuhan and San Francisco and speed up bilateral political, cultural and people-to-people exchanges by providing a safe and reliable flight experience for passengers in both countries,” she said.

“A flight from San Francisco to China has been a dream of many people for many years, since about 80 percent of Chinese Americans in San Francisco are rooted in Guangdong province,” said Luo Linquan, China’s consul general in San Francisco.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee welcomed the news and said that he is “more than confident that this flight will be highly successful”, based on the strong commerce and cultural ties between the Guangdong province and the Bay Area.

“With this new service, SFO now serves more cities to China than other airports in the US,”Doug Yakel, the airport’s public information officer, told China Daily.

The airport has seen 20 percent growth in traffic to Asia, particularly to China, in the past five years with airlines like China Eastern flying to Shanghai and Wuhan; Air China to Beijing; and with United Airlines’ nonstop route between San Francisco and Chengdu, Yakel said.

China Southern Airlines is the third-largest airline in the world by passenger volume, and is the largest airline in Asia by fleet size. The airline is a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance, which includes Air France, Delta Airlines and KLM.