Adding to its distinction of serving more destinations to Asia than any other airport in the country, San Francisco International Airport has launched the nation's first Chinese-language airport website.
The site, which launched Wednesday and runs in simplified Chinese, provides users with real-time flight tracking and information about public-transit options, restaurants, shopping, amenities and other services.
When SFO revamped its regular, English-language website in August 2013, Chinese was one of the eight languages available on a limited platform. The airport had since focused on launching a full website in Chinese above other languages because the region is a “very fast-growing market segment,” climbing 20 percent in the last five years, according to SFO spokesman Doug Yakel.
A new airline, China Eastern, started nonstop service to Shanghai in April 2013 and in June, United Airlines launched its first nonstop service from the U.S. to Chengdu in central China.
“SFO has clearly become the gateway of choice to Asia,” Yakel said.
The Chinese-language website cost $90,000 to develop and has potential to expand, according to Yakel.
“The good part is a lot of this framework has already been established, so when it comes time for us to explore other language websites, we won't have to incur those costs.” Yakel said.
Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement that the Chinese-language website “further connects our City with China, strengthens the economic and cultural ties between our two regions, while providing our diverse communities and travelers with an easier way to make our City and SFO their destination of choice.”