Two US Airlines Cut Chinese Flights

August 21, 2018

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Two US airlines, American and Hawaiian, are dropping flights to China, with fuel costs and increased competition cited as reasons.

American Airlines will end its daily direct flight between Chicago and Shanghai in October, maintaining just a codeshare flight with Japan Airlines via Tokyo Narita. The airline previously announced it was ending its daily O’Hare service to Beijing, also in October.

“Our Chicago–Shanghai service is unprofitable and simply not sustainable in this high fuel cost environment and when we have opportunities to be successful in other markets,” American VP Vasu Raja said.

Connecting flights are still available to Shanghai via the airline’s Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles hubs.

Hawaiian Airlines announced the suspension of its three-times-weekly service between Honolulu and Beijing’s Capital Airport, again from October. The airline gave no reason for ending the direct flights.

“These decisions are never easy and this one is especially difficult because we believe in China’s future as a robust market for the Hawaiian vacation experience,” the airline’s chief executive Peter Ingram said. “We will continue to market one-stop options to Honolulu from cities throughout China on our airline partners.”

Earlier this year China’s civil aviation regulator CAAC announced a relaxation from October of its policy of allowing only one Chinese airline to operate on each international route.

The regulator said it recognised that Chinese airlines are keen to add new international routes, a move that can only add to the competitive pressure on US carriers’ services to China.