what's the chance of DoT granting route dormancy?
Depends. If no one requests the frequencies AA/HA are requesting dormancy for then its about 99% likely the DOT will grant at areas ta 6 month dormancy.
If those frequencies are requested by DL or UA (the only real options) then AA/HA will have a choice, release the frequencies for the route proceeding or continue to fly them as they are. I don't recall a time the DOT granted dormancy to China when other carriers requested the frequency.
I personally don't see DL/UA adding 3 new daily flights to China in this market. Maybe LAX-PEK for DL and something, IAD-PVG, IAH-China) from United but the fact is no one is doing great to China and taking some capacity out of the market is good for all three US airlines. The question is how badly does Delta think it will want to operate something like LAX-PEK in the future and is it worth it to take on losses now for the chance of something profitable later.
Also for Delta, widebodies are going to be tight next year with all the new additions added today. That plus the soon to come India flight makes it unlikely Delta could really add much to China. They might be able to work a LAX-PEK rotation with the 359 or 777 but I am not sure they could do anything else (ie ATL-PEK or JFK-China).
As far as unrestricted frequencies go, DL does have 21, not 14, same as UA (DL's were a legacy from NW, as UA's were from PA back when the China bilateral was very restrictive). I believe the third set are on SEA-PVG. As for UA, I recall their third set as making up one of the ORD-China routes but not sure which.
Are you sure about this?
Unless Delta released restricted frequencies when they cut NRT-PEK a while back I thought they gave the DOT back the unrestricted frequencies from NRT-PEK.
not saying your wrong and I personally hoped Delta was smart enough to shift things around so that they kept the 21 unrestricted frequencies but that isn't my understand of what happened.
NRT-CAN is now SEA-PEK and NRT-PVG is now ATL-PVG for those that don't know.