Four U.S. airlines this week are intensifying a contest to open the next non-stop route to China, the world’s hottest growth market.
On Monday, American, Continental, Northwest and United airlines will submit briefs to the U.S. Department of Transportation to boost their bids for the one China route to be approved this year.
The DOT decision is expected to give an economic boost to one of the four U.S. metro areas that would be linked to China by the new air service: Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Washington, D.C., or New York City. Of the four, only the New York area now has a non-stop link to China.
The DOT is charged with choosing a route that will best serve the public interest. But that hasn’t stopped the airlines from waging intense public lobbying campaigns to try to influence the decision.