American Airlines has announced it will be launching flights between Los Angeles and Beijing effective from November 5, 2017. The new service will be operated daily. The airline’s announcement came lately after it first expressed its desire to launch the route two years ago.
Media reports while providing details about the schedule of the new service said that the outbound flight will depart from Los Angeles at 11:10 am and arrive in Beijing at 4:20 pm next day. The return flight will make its departure from Beijing at 6:30 pm and arrive in Los Angeles at 3:15 pm. The airline is yet to announce the details about the aircraft to be operated on the route.
According to the reports, the decision to launch new Beijing-Los Angeles route has been rather difficult. Delta Air Lines was the first to announce its plans to start flights between the two destinations from December 16, 2016. The announcement was made in March last year. However, American Airlines followed suite and announced two weeks later that it was also planning to launch flights on the same Los Angeles-Beijing route on the same day as planned by Delta. The move by American Airlines was then viewed as a competitive one rather than a planned strategy of the expansion of its global network.
Travel experts said that the decision of both Delta Air Lines and American Airlines was tedious because the bilateral agreement with China mandated that U.S.-based carriers were allowed to operate only one flight out of Beijing. This later on forced both airlines to approach the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to seek resolution of the issue and gain approval to launch the route in their own way. American Airlines however emerged victorious and was finally granted approval to launch flights between Beijing and Los Angeles. It may be known that Delta Air Lines is already operating flights to Beijing from Seattle in U.S. West Coast, while American Airlines presently doesn’t operate any flight out of Beijing.
With the launch of new flight, American Airlines want to demonstrate that it would like to make Los Angeles as its main Pacific gateway. Apart from this, the airline will also be operating seasonal nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Auckland. The airline is also planning to start new flights from Los Angles to Tokyo Narita, Tokyo Haneda, Sydney, Shanghai and Hong Kong.