American Airlines will discontinue its Chicago-Beijing service on Oct. 20, citing strong competition on the route.

"The current fare environment severely limits our ability to successfully compete between Chicago and Beijing," said Vasu Raja, American's vice president of network and schedule planning. "We remain committed to China and anticipate that moving to the new Beijing airport in the future will improve the viability of the route through the additional connectivity in conjunction with our codeshare relationship with China Southern in the long run."

American competes with Hainan and United in the Chicago-Beijing market, and while Guangzhou-based China Southern has a hub at Beijing Capital Airport, it is not as large as the Beijing operation of United's codeshare partner, Air China.

Beijing's airport capacity will get an enormous boost with the opening of the first terminal of the Beijing Daxing Airport, which is scheduled for late next year. The terminal will have an annual capacity of 45 million flyers.

American said it has petitioned the Department of Transportation for a dormancy waiver, which would enable AA to retain its rights to the Chicago-Beijing route.

U.S. carriers have met the limit for the combined number of flights that they can fly to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou under the U.S.-China aviation agreement.

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