Today's LA Times had an interesting article basically summarizing the proposed US-China routes over the next 3 years.
- A single US-China route can bring in $200 million in revenue to an airline
- Analysts say United faces an uphill battle for LAX-PVG. The last U.S. carrier to win a route to China was United when it began daily nonstop service in March between Beijing and Washington. And United already operates a direct California-to-China route, from San Francisco to Shanghai.
- Southern California has more China-bound passengers than any other U.S. metropolitan area, United said. In 2006, nearly 282,000 people, or 20% of total U.S. travelers to China, were from Southern California. Second-largest was New York, with about 15% of the total. United also noted that the region has more Shanghai-bound passengers than any other area.
- China's three largest state-owned carriers -- China Eastern, Air China and China Southern Airlines -- currently operate nonstop service between the two countries, but none of those flights is profitable. Chinese carriers offering international service cater predominantly to Chinese passengers. Those airlines often have plenty of vacancies in business and first class, making those routes unprofitable.
- "Seats are small, food is bad and service is a little grouchy," says one passenger of the Chinese airlines. (although it seems those same adjectives could be used to describe US airlines).