American Airlines has applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and sought approval to launch daily flights to Beijing from Los Angeles. The application was submitted in late March this year. The airline had requested to approve seven weekly slots. Another U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines had on 14th March 2016 also submitted a similar application to DOT for approving the same route. Both the carriers want to start the service on the same day effective from December 16 this year utilizing a Boeing 777-200 aircraft.
The two carriers have also filed their individual responses with the DOT enumerating the advantages that they would be getting on winning the route, and also the disadvantages of their rival carriers on gaining access to the slots. Media reports have however said that American Airlines seem to be ahead of its rival Delta Air Lines in the race to win the slots.
While strongly arguing its case, American Airlines said that it was well qualified to win approval for the new Los Angeles-Beijing route. The airline contended that Delta Air Lines was already operating a west coast route with flights services from Seattle to Beijing. The airline also emphasized that China’s skies was already dominated by China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, both being SkyTeam Alliance partners of Delta Air Lines. Moreover, American Airlines stressed that if the decision is finally taken in its favour then it would act as a catalyst in rectifying the competitive imbalance in service and also promoting competition in the U.S.-Northeast Asia and U.S.-China markets.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Transportation in a statement said that after much deliberations it has finally arrived at a decision to grant approval to American Airlines for launching the new Los Angeles-Beijing route from December 16, 2016.The DOT statement said that American Airlines would be serving the customers in a better way because of the amenities and services it would be offering. It may be noted that American Airlines is presently offering 35 weekly flights services between the United States and China. The airline is offering flights to Beijing from Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago, while Shanghai is being serviced with flights from Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago and Los Angeles.