American Airlines and United Airlines are planning to quit operating direct flights to Shanghai. Reports of long queues to reach the country and insufficient facilities have drawn attention to questions about crew rest conditions. Services would keep running via Seoul Incheon, particularly cargo-only services. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines is officially moving forward with direct flights to China.
After halting it in February as the coronavirus spread, airlines have not reopened any Chinese operation.
American Airlines expected this month to start nonstop flights transporting mainly freight from Los Angeles to Shanghai but would continue to run the flight with a halt on Asia’s route in Seoul, South Korea. However, it will operate nonstop back to Los Angeles via Shanghai. Due to related issues, one of the individuals said, America continues to have a halt in Seoul on its cargo-only flights from Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles to Beijing.
Long delays in reaching the nation to get to hotels are a concern for airlines since they will cut into the criteria for federally required crew rest.
Last month, America reinstated its Chinese operation with flights between Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Shanghai with a layover in Seoul,
“We are satisfied with this announcement and take a glance forward seeing ongoing discussion to guarantee it would be in the best interest of America and its crews whenever we begin flying,” said Dennis Tajer, commander of the American Airlines Boeing 737 and spokesperson for the Allied Pilots Union, which reflects the pilots of the airline.
For some of its side, United has said it has expanded its San Francisco-Shanghai service to a halt in Seoul.
“We modified operation between San Francisco and Shanghai more to get a stop in Seoul, South Korea for a pilot change due to changes in operating conditions, as we previously did this year,” United said in a release. During the stop, travelers scheduled for Shanghai can remain on the aircraft.
From Seattle and Detroit, Delta Air Lines intends to provide direct flights to Shanghai beginning this week.
“In a statement, Delta’s pilots’ union, the Air Line Pilots Association, said, “Delta discussed with us their proposal and the logistics around the introduction of nonstop flight to Shanghai. “We are analyzing it right now to ensure that it is airtight.”
Airline labor unions raised fears regarding the Chinese government-mandated airport hotel that flight crews must remain in and reported limits on crews leaving hotel rooms in addition to long airport waits.