Carriers keeping DOT busy applying for U.S.-China rights

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United and Northwest joined the competition for the right to offer new service to China, which means four airlines are now vying for Transportation Dept. approval.

The DOT can award up to seven weekly flights -- or one daily -- to Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou beginning March 25 to U.S. carriers already serving the U.S.-China market, under the terms of the new U.S.-China aviation agreement.

United filed an application with the DOT Aug. 17 seeking approval for its proposal to offer daily flights between its Washington (Dulles) hub and Beijing. Northwest filed the same day for daily flights between its Detroit hub and Shanghai.

Two other airlines already had applied for the new rights: Continental for daily service between Newark and Shanghai, and American for daily service between Dallas/Forth Worth and Beijing.

Under the timetable for the route authority proceeding, it will be months before the DOT makes it decision.

To contact reporter Andrew Compart, send e-mail to [email protected].

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