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What:American Airlines has applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate direct daily flights between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). This occurred just two weeks after Delta Air Lines put in an application for the same route.
Why It Matters:Air China is currently the only airline that flies nonstop from Los Angeles to Beijing (United Airlines codeshares with the Chinese carrier on the route), which makes securing route authority even more desirable for the competing U.S. airlines. If approved, both American and Delta say they plan to launch service later this year on Dec. 16. But, regardless of which airline is chosen by the DOT, the new route is likely to bolster tourism and trade not only to Beijing, but to other cities in China as well.
Fast Facts:- As of now, American offers nonstop service to Beijing from Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
- As of now, Delta offers nonstop service to Beijing from Detroit Metropolitan Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
What They Are Saying:“This new route would solidify Los Angeles as American’s West Coast gateway to Asia, and it would be our only Beijing access from the western United States, creating new connections to one of Asia’s major business and leisure destinations,” said Andrew Nocella, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for American.
“Delta’s new nonstop service to Beijing continues our expansion in China, providing our business customers with access to Beijing and beyond through our partnerships with the market’s leading carriers, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines,” said Ranjan Goswami, vice president of sales, West, for Delta. “This is an important route for customers who will enjoy the investments we've made to upgrade Delta’s airport facilities, onboard service, full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access in Delta One, Wi-Fi and industry-leading complimentary in-flight entertainment.”
Delta Air Lineswww.delta.com