7-May-2012 2:42 PM

Delta Air Lines withdraws from Atlanta-Shanghai service, no plan to commence Tokyo-Guangzhou in 2012

Delta Air Lines, in a filing to the US Department of Transportation, requested (03-May-2012) an extension of the start-up date with respect to seven US-China frequencies originally allocated for Tokyo-Guangzhou service from 01-Jun-2012 to 01-Jun-2013. Delta further requests the flexibility to use these seven frequencies on any US-China route where Delta holds underlying route authority. Delta also returned seven additional frequencies previously allocated for Atlanta-Shanghai service. These frequencies will be made available "to another carrier that requests them". Delta Air Lines launched non-stop service between the two cities in 2008, but suspended it twice, first in light of "the economic slowdown" and then in Jan-2012 as a result of high fuel prices and "our overall capacity reduction". [more - original PR]

Delta Air Lines: "There is a large surplus of U.S.-China combination frequencies. Contemporaneous with this motion, Delta is filing a letter with the Department returning seven additional frequencies previously allocated for Atlanta-Shanghai service. With the return of these frequencies, there will be 37 combination frequencies available in the unallocated pool....Developing and expanding Delta’s international route network is a cornerstone of Delta’s business strategy, and China is one of world’s most important international markets. However, in the face of challenging economic conditions, Delta does not plan to commence Tokyo-Guangzhou service in 2012. Grant of the requested start-up date extension and route flexibility will permit Delta to introduce additional China service as soon as market conditions permit. Grant of the requested relief will not prejudice any other U.S. carrier because, as noted, there will be 37 frequencies available in the unallocated pool." Source: Company statement, 03-May-2012.

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