It looks like US Airways has decided to throw in a bid for next year’s flights to China and I’m not really sure why.
Maybe it’s to get back at Delta for shunning the takeover bid. After all they do say in their press release that “US Airways had been considering applying for China authority for some time, and today responded to a Delta Air Lines application for Atlanta-Shanghai authority. US Airways asked the DOT to defer consideration of Delta’s application until a full proceeding can commence.”
Or maybe it was to draw attention away from CEO Doug Parker’s drunk driving incident. (I’m clearly kidding about that one – I really feel bad for Doug.)
The only thing that would surprise me here is if they’re bidding because they actually think they can win it. Right now, they have no airplanes that can fly the route. They do have some A330s on order that might be able to squeeze by from the western US, but those would hardly be ideal and they may not arrive in time anyway.
From a route perspective, there aren’t really any markets that I could see the government approving. If Atlanta doesn’t have a nonstop flight yet, I don’t see how Charlotte could get one. Pittsburgh doesn’t have a chance. Philly and Phoenix can’t even support a Tokyo flight let alone a flight to Beijing. And while Vegas may be a good market, the DOT will never give it to them. That route would be much more beneficial for Chinese nationals flying to Vegas, and the DOT is looking to improve air options for Americans, not Chinese. There are far better places for that.
Maybe US Airways just thinks it’s worthwhile to throw their hat in the ring and let the government know they do have a future interest. Either way, they don’t have a chance. At this point I’d say it’s either Delta from Atlanta or American out of Dallas.