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Monday, May 26, 2008

United, US Airways delay China launch

Two airlines that only months ago won federal approval to begin highly coveted routes to China are postponing the launch of the new services because of high fuel costs.

The requests come at a time of growing strain on the airline industry, which is anticipating multibillion dollar losses this year as it scrambles to cope with runaway oil prices and a slumping U.S. economy.

United Airlines (UAUA, Fortune 500) has sought and US Airways (LCC, Fortune 500) plans to ask for one-year delays in launching the new routes, representatives from the carriers said Thursday. United won final approval and US Airways received the tentative go-ahead to launch the routes from the U.S. Department of Transportation in September.

Since then, oil prices have shot up more than 60%. Benchmark prices surged past $135 a barrel Thursday before settling at $130.81, down $2.36 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The routes in question affect planned United service between San Francisco to Guangzhou, and US Airways flights between Philadelphia and Beijing.

Access to routes between the U.S. and China is highly competitive because air service between the two countries is restricted by bilateral agreements. A July agreement between the two countries was intended to double the number of daily flights allowed between the two nations over the next five years.

United's request for a delay was approved April 25, while the request from US Airways has not yet been received, Transportation Department spokesman Bill Mosley said.

United, a division of UAL Corp., was scheduled to start its new flights in early June, but now plans to postpone the launch until June 2009. Spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said the Chicago-based carrier is scaling back plans for one new international route, San Francisco to Guangzhou, where there aren't "strong enough economics" to offset higher fuel costs.

United received final approval for its route in September, the same time Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL, Fortune 500) won the opportunity to launch its first flights to China with a daily route between Shanghai and Atlanta. Delta's flights began March 31.

US Airways has begun sending letters to members of Congress and its employees saying it would seek to delay the launch of the new Philadelphia-Beijing route, noting that the cost for fuel would be more than $90 million a year - $40 million more than the original estimate of about $50 million.

"We're optimistic that economic conditions will be on the upswing in 2010, giving us a better chance of success with our first route to China," Scott Kirby, the president of Phoenix based US Airways Group Inc., said in a letter to workers.

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said in a statement that the China route is a priority for the Philadelphia region, and that the delay was another example of how high fuel prices are hurting the economy.

"I hope this delay is only temporary because this route has the potential to be an economic boon to Philadelphia and good business for US Airways," Casey said.

Before it began the process of delaying the launch, US Airways had planned to start its new route in 2009.

US Airways received final approval for the route in December. At the same time, AMR Corp.'s (AMR, Fortune 500) American Airlines, Continental Airlines Inc. (CAL, Fortune 500) and Northwest Airlines Corp. (NWA, Fortune 500) each won awards to add a new daily flight to their existing service beginning next year.

Representatives for American, Continental and Northwest said they are not making any changes to their plans for new China passenger routes next year.

However, Northwest has applied for a waiver to suspend seven weekly roundtrip cargo flights a week between Tokyo and Guangzhou, China, spokeswoman Tammy Lee said.


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Friday, November 30, 2007

Grand China Air ready for launching

HNA Group's Grand China Air, destined to be the country's fourth-largest commercial carrier, is scheduled to be launched on Nov. 29 in Haikou, capital of Hainan Province.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

China airlines set passenger record over holiday

Chinese airlines carried a record number of people on a single day over the just ended week-long National Day holiday - more than half a million passengers, the regulator said on Monday.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Continental Airlines eyes more flights to Asia

Continental Airlines will add more destinations in India and China, tapping their booming economies to boost the carrier's international revenues, a top company official said on Wednesday.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

US Airways gets Philly-China route

US Airways has been awarded a coveted route between Philadelphia and Beijing by the U.S. Department of Transportation and plans to start daily service in 2009, the airline said Tuesday.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cathay Pacific Falls After Dropping China Eastern Bid

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. and Air China Ltd. slumped in Hong Kong trading after scrapping plans to challenge Singapore Airlines Ltd. for a stake in China's third- largest carrier.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Boeing: Air travel in China to soar fivefold by 2026

China's domestic air travel market will grow nearly fivefold in the next 20 years, Boeing said yesterday.

With an annual growth rate of 8.1 percent, China's domestic airline traffic is expected to increase from under one-fifth the size of the North American domestic market today, to over half its size by 2026, according to a Boeing report issued yesterday.



AirAsia X to fly China, Australia in October with first A330

Malaysia's long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X said Tuesday it will launch inaugural flights to China and Australia in October with the arrival of its first A330 aircraft.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Shenzhen Airlines eyes $1 bln IPO

Shenzhen Airlines, a major privately owned airline in China, aims to raise about US$1 billion in an initial public offering of shares next year, a Hong Kong newspaper reported on Monday.

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China, India airports struggle to meet air travel boom

China and India's air infrastructure is creaking under the soaring demand for air travel and huge investment is needed to satisfy the boom, officials said Tuesday.

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Dragonair to join oneworld on 1 November

Dragonair - regularly named in customer surveys as the best airline serving China - will join oneworld on 1 November 2007, Its addition to oneworld is expected to be completed before the other airline alliances bring their Chinese members elect on board.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Xiamen Airlines, Boeing confirm 25 planes order

Xiamen Airlines has ordered 25 Next-Generation 737-800s airplanes from the U.S. based Boeing Co., according to the Chinese company.

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Friday, August 31, 2007

Shanghai Airlines Orders Five A321s on Competition

Shanghai Airlines Co., facing greater competition in its home market, plans to order five Airbus SAS A321 aircraft, expanding its fleet to fend off China Eastern Airlines Corp. and Air China Ltd.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Passengers of Chinese airlines jump 16.7% in 1st half

Passengers carried by Chinese airlines rose 16.7 percent over the same period last year to 86.7 million in the first half of 2007, the civil aviation regulator said here Saturday.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

China's JuneYao Airlines mulls overseas listing by 2009

JuneYao Airlines, a privately owned carrier headquartered in Shanghai, is planning to list on an overseas market by 2009, China Business News reported.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Shenzhen Airlines eyes $1 bln IPO

Shenzhen Airlines, a major privately owned airline in China, aims to raise about US$1 billion in an initial public offering of shares next year, a Hong Kong newspaper reported on Monday.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Cathay Pacific's Profit Surges 55% on China Travel

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Asia's second-most profitable carrier, said first-half profit rose 55 percent, beating analysts' estimates, after it bought a rival to expand in China, the world's fastest-growing major economy.

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U.S. airlines vie for new nonstop LAX-China routes

Seven carriers line up for six new routes, including a potential nonstop connection between Los Angeles International Airport and Shanghai.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

United Airlines plans daily nonstop flights between China, California

United Airlines will apply to begin daily, nonstop air service between China and two California cities, said the company's Beijing office.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

US airlines apply for new China nonstop service

Several U.S. airlines said Monday they will compete to fly new direct routes between the U.S. and China, eager to get a foothold in the fast-growing Chinese market.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Chinese group to bid for all six Airbus plants

The aerospace industry is rushing to invest in the far east, with China's main state-owned aerospace group bidding to invest in or buy all six Airbus plants.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

China plans to build its own super-jumbo

China has announced plans to build its own large passenger aircraft to challenge Airbus and Boeing in a project described by an aviation official as an "inspiration to the nation".

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Delta Seeks OK for Atlanta-China Route

Delta Airlines has filed an application with the US Department of Transportation to launch nonstop flights between Atlanta and China. (page not found)

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