The U.S. Department of Transportation selected United Airlines to provide direct service to Beijing, China, from Washington Dulles International Airport Tuesday, Jan. 9. This is the first direct route that links the United States’ capital to China’s capital.
Rob Yingling, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said other airlines applied for the position.
"United’s application was the only one that was going to operate out of Dulles," he said.
Robin Urbansky, a spokesperson for United Airlines, said the daily service from Dulles International Airport will be available to customers Sunday, March 25.
As of now, travelers going to Beijing from Dulles have to stop in either Chicago, Ill., or San Francisco, Calif.
"There is a very strong demand from our customers for service to China," Urbansky said. "We expect the popularity to continue from Washington because it is direct now."
United Airlines will provide service on a Boeing 747, which has more than 300 seats.
"That’s our largest plane," Urbansky added.
Washington, D.C., will join 28 other cities in providing nonstop service to and from Beijing.