It seems like U.S. airlines just can’t get enough China routes. Just a few weeks after American Airlines announced that it plans to begin daily Los Angeles-Hong Kong service on September 7, the airline now says it wants another new China route – the same one Delta wants.
That route is Los Angeles-Beijing, which is currently served on a non-stop basis only by Air China, which offers two to three flights a day and code-shares with United. Delta earlier this month said it has applied for government approvals to operate daily LAX-Beijing flights starting December 16. American said it wants to start daily service on the route on the same date; it did not specify what type of aircraft it would use.
American noted that it is building up not only its international network at LAX, but also its domestic feed, with plans to begin more than 20 new daily flights there by June to new and existing U.S. destinations. It is also adding two more gates at LAX to support its larger presence. American currently flies to Beijing from Chicago and Dallas/Ft. Worth.
It might be possible that both airlines could get the nod for LAX-Beijing flights. Although China has followed a policy of limiting its airlines to no more than one Chinese carrier on any given U.S. route, the U.S. has not done the same. For instance, the Los Angeles-Shanghai route is currently flown by American, Delta and United.
In any case, the skies to China are getting crowded. Besides the growth at LAX, United plans to start San Francisco-Hangzhou non-stops on July 13 and seasonal service from SFO to Xi’an starting May 8. And China Eastern Airlines last week launched new daily flights from Chicago O’Hare to Shanghai.
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