China Eastern Airlines is planning to boost its flights services to the United States with new aircrafts. The airline recently said that it is looking forward to expand its aircraft fleet from the existing 561 to more than 800 aircrafts by 2020.
Leading Chinese carrier has expressed its desire to increase its long-haul traffic to the U.S. following a $450 million equity deal signed with Delta Air Lines in 2015. After agreeing to acquire a 3.55 percent stake China Eastern Airlines, now Delta Air Lines has become the first U.S. airline to own a part of a Chinese carrier.
Ma Xulun, President of China Eastern Airlines, said, “The bonds between Delta Air Lines and China Eastern Airlines have been strengthening by the day. The codeshare routes of the two carriers have significantly increased to 400, in comparison to nearly 300 routes earlier, which also include routes served by the two carriers in their respective domestic markets.” Many Chinese carriers have of late been expanding their flights services to various destinations in North America, Australia and Europe.
Media reports attributed this to the spurt in growing demand by Chinese people for overseas travel. The Chinese carriers are now boosting their long-haul service by adding flights to Sydney, Paris and New York from inland cities and conducting flights to smaller cities in Australia, Europe and North America.
According to the reports, Chinese carriers for the first time offered more seats in comparison to those offered by U.S. carriers in 2015. The move of the Chinese carriers in offering more seats also fueled worries regarding falling yields and overcapacity. It may be noted that over 2.6 million Chinese people traveled to the United States in 2015 and the number is expected to increase further to 3 million in 2016. Most of the U.S. travelers from Southeast Asia and northeast Asia prefer to take flights from Shanghai Pudong International Airport, which is currently the hub of China Eastern Airlines.