US Airways is considering expanding its international network to include transpacific services from Philadelphia and transatlantic services from Phoenix.

The carrier is seeking rights to launch flights next year from its Philadelphia hub to Shanghai. If the US Department of Transportation approves its application over a rival bid from Delta Air Lines, which is proposing an Atlanta-Shanghai service, US Airways will acquire new widebodies capable of ultra long-haul flights.

The carrier's current fleet of Airbus A330 and Boeing 767 widebodies is not capable of operating flights to Asia from any of its hubs or to Europe from its Phoenix hub. The transatlantic operation of US Airways is now based in Philadelphia and in recent years has grown rapidly to include 19 cities in 12 European countries.

In addition to Philadelphia-Shanghai, possible routes which could be operated if US Airways acquires A340s or 777s include Philadelphia-Tel Aviv, Philadelphia-Tokyo and Phoenix-Frankfurt. But Vice-president financial analysis Dion Flannery acknowledges such an expansion may be risky: "It is up for discussion around the building."

US Airways, meanwhile, is extending its network to Asia through a new codeshare with Singapore Airlines.

US Airways wants to make Shanghai its first Asian destination

Source: Airline Business