New US China Direct Flight

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It’s official, the United Airlines won the battle. It will fly from Washington Dulles to Beijing, connecting two capitals. It appears to me American Airlines was the front runner but their pilot union doesn’t want to fly more than 15 hours from Dallas to Beijing, and that basically pulled AA out of race. I was thinking Continental’s New York and Shanghai route makes more economic sense because they are financial centers of the two countries. But obviously politics played a role here. With two existing routes from North America to Shanghai (San Francisco, Chicago), UA will have the biggest presence in US China routes. 


  1. As long as United keeps its head above water, it would be good news for their frequent flyer members so their points would be honored.

    I remember when I first visited the United Airlines office in Beijing in April 2002, it was located inside the swanky complex Lufthansa center (燕莎). Shortly after that, the company filed for chapter 11 protection. How ironic!

  2. The Airline industry has done very well lately because of the drop of oil prices, the reduced labor cost and pension/health care liability. As you may know the United stock (UAUA) is about $48.00 these days. I think those international flights are usually more profitable than domestic ones. That’s why they fight so hard to get this.

  3. I don’t want to debate with you just for the sake of debating although sometimes I do find myself having a kick out it because every coin does have two sides.

    One of the most profitable airlines—southwest–doesn’t have any of these international routes. Southwest for the longest time has been very successful in managing fuel costs because of its hedging strategies in futures. However that was easily imitable…Southwest has kept and still remains the most successful/profitable in the industry without those “profitable” international routes. Please keep in mind though, holding everything else constant, the profitability of the airline is usually determined by number of passengers traveled per seat. From that point of view, UAL has a long way to go.

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