As health concerns mount and waiver options grow some airlines are going a step further in their response to the virus outbreak in China. British Airways is taking the significant step of halting its flights to Shanghai and Beijing effective immediately. A formal announcement is expected early Wednesday in London.
Just over a year after admitting publicly that the routes “often don’t earn enough cash to cover the price of fuel” American Airlines is officially surrendering its route authorities from Chicago-O’Hare to Beijing and Shanghai. Both Delta and United figure to gain significantly as a result.
United Airlines joined Delta Air Lines in seeking additional service to Shanghai. The move puts American Airlines in a bind as that carrier hoped to squat on route authorities that are now in demand by the competition.
Delta Air Lines intends to serve Shanghai from its hub at Minneapolis-St. Paul, growing the connecting opportunities between the USA and China. The carrier applied for the necessary route authorities this morning, seeking to launch daily service in June 2020 on the A350-900. The new route would bring to three the number of Asia destinations served from MSP.
American Airlines continues its cuts to Asia service from its hub at Chicago O’Hare. After previously announcing that it would drop Beijing service, Shanghai flights will also be terminated this October. Seasonal adds across the Atlantic in 2019 will help offset these cuts.