Three largest U.S. airlines to double flights to China
The three largest U.S. airlines plan to double the number of flights to China this fall and winter as they take advantage of a deal between the nations to ease pandemic-era travel restrictions.
Texas-based American Airlines Group will offer daily service between Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International starting in January and plans to begin selling seats on the new flights this weekend, an airline spokesperson said Wednesday.
Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines will operate daily flights from Seattle to Shanghai starting October 29 and fly three times a week from Detroit to Shanghai. It also intends to add Los Angeles-Shanghai flights four times a week in March, the carrier said in a statement on Wednesday.
United Airlines Holdings last week revealed plans to resume daily flights between San Francisco and Beijing in November and increase to daily flights between San Francisco and Shanghai starting October 1.
Travel insiders say flying to visit relatives and friends in the two countries will likely fuel more travel than corporate demand for at least the short term.
Currently, the three U.S. carriers evenly split 12 weekly flights between the two countries. That will increase to 18 a week as of September 1 and 24 a week on October 29, the U.S. Transportation Department said last week.
Three Chinese carriers, Air China, China Eastern and China Southern, will also split the same rising number of weekly flights to the U.S.
China and the U.S. officially agreed to expand flights last week. The Chinese Embassy in Washington said, "Direct flights are essential for increasing mutual visits between Chinese and American peoples. We hope that the restoration of more flights will do good to the flow of people and trade between the two countries."
(A United Airlines plane lands at the Benito Juarez International Airport, Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, March 20, 2020. /CFP)