filed Friday for its third nonstop China route, seeking approval to fly between Los Angeles and Shanghai.
Nonstop daily service on a Boeing 777 seating 247 passengers, including 16 in first class and 37 in business class, would begin April 5, 2011.
Los Angeles-Shanghai is the largest air travel market between the U.S. and China, but currently it is served only by China Eastern Airlines. "These new flights would be the only nonstops between Los Angeles and Shanghai operated by a U.S. airline," said Will Ris, American Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, in a prepared statement.
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Currently, 28 unused weekly frequencies available are available under the U.S.- China Air Transport Agreement. Daily service from Los Angeles would require seven frequencies.
American currently flies from Chicago to both Shanghai and Beijing. Shanghai flights began in 2006 and Beijing began in 2010. American is
disadvantaged in China, in comparison to
, because the Oneworld alliance does not include a mainland Chinese airline.
The carrier has said it will compensate by using Hong Kong, a hub for partner
whose Dragonair subsidiary serves 15 Chinese cities, and Tokyo, where hub carrier
serves six Chinese cities. Additionally, as Kenji Hashimoto, vice president of strategic alliances, has said, "There are a lot of airlines in China."
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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