American Airlines has announced that it has submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation to delay the launch of a nonstop service between Chicago and Beijing to April 4, 2010.
The new service was originally scheduled to open on April 7, 2009. American Airlines said in the application that neither market status nor operational conditions can be satisfied completely, which would involve, and have an impact on, the whole of the aviation industry.
Due to rising oil prices and a protracted depression of the economy, some American airlines that operate routes between the USA and China or are planning for new routes have obtained approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to suspend existing services or to postpone the launch of new routes, or to reduce services according to seasonal demand.
It is reported that United Airlines is currently planning to replace the Boeing 747 aircraft on its Washington-Beijing route with Boeing 777 planes with fewer seats to reduce fuel costs.