They fought so hard for the routes and now....US Airways is the latest US carrier to seek to put off a new route to China despite its intense efforts to win the route in the first place. Back in September, Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways won the rights with the proviso that it begin flights from Philadelphia to Beijing by March 25, 2009. It would have no problem, the airline said. Now, US Airways says it remains committed to China service, has worked out a code share with fellow Star ally Air China that brings feed to both carriers, and says it has negotiations for local commercial arrangements well under way. But....
But the 23 million gallons of fuel it would take to operate the route, an expense of $50 million when they applied, would now cost it about $90 million. So it's seeking to put off the route for a year (at least.) US Airways isn't alone; United, one of the largest carriers to China, just won a one-year extension for its new service to Guangzhou from San Francisco. This route was supposed to start in June and is now off until June 2009. And Northwest has suspended cargo flights between Tokyo and Guangzhou.
Some though are happily flying the skies. Delta, for one is flying its new route from Atlanta, for which it fought so eagerly, while India's Jet Airways begins flights in a few weeks from San Francisco to Shanghai; they continue on to Mumbai.
Speaking of China, the first direct flights between Mexico and China just began this weekend. And they're to Tijuana! Yes, really. Aeromexico just began twice-weekly Boeing 777 non-stops to Shanghai. And they officially start in Tijuana. They actually go on to and Mexico City, but we thought it fascinating that the City on the Border, the City of Sin, is so tempting that Aeromexico actually announced Tijuana-China service.