Getting Harder to Get to China

Northwest Airlines recently requested the FAA to delay 2 of its direct routes to China that were supposed to begin in early 2009, adding its name to a long list that already includes a number of its competitors, all due to the economic crisis.

Northwest's request was to delay the startup dates for its 2 routes up to a year, the routes in question are Detroit-Shanghai and Seattle-Beijing. The other airlines have all been given deferments of these routes already, and these will affect the following:
American: Chicago-Beijing
US Airways: Philadelphia-Beijing
United: San Francisco-Guangzhou
Continental: Newark-Beijing, Newark-Shanghai
Delta: Atlanta-Shanghai

Some of these are deferments and others are changes from daily service to seasonal service. All of these are consequences of the current economic crisis and the desire of the airlines to save fuel costs (this is, of course, despite the fact fuel costs have largely fallen to the cheapest its been in years). Airline penny pinching has travelers frustrated as the planes have been downsized as much as is safely possible (now 777's doing international service) and cutbacks have been taking place (charging for alcohol).

So much for flying the friendly skies.


Joel said...

I just booked a flight from the US east coast to Beijing. United Airlines said after January they will no longer fly from Washington DC to Beijing. The only east coast route will be their original one through Chicago.

尼克 said...

While it is unfortunate, who would you ever want to fly a U.S domestic carrier to China? In my experience, they suck and you get a much better plane and service from AIR CHINA and other Asian carriers.