The global financial crisis seems to be taking its toll on US airlines, several of which have postponed or reduced services to China.
Only two of six approved non-stop China-US services are currently in operation, Delta Air Line’s Atlanta-Shanghai and Continental’s Newark-Shanghai routes, according to the China Daily newspaper.
Among the delayed and postponed services are Northwest Airlines’ Detroit-Shanghai service, American Airlines’ Chicago-Beijing service and United Airlines’ San Francisco-Guangzhou service.
In addition, Delta has applied to the US Department of Transportation for reductions to its weekly Atlanta-Shanghai flights.
Traffic from US to China has reportedly dropped more than 15 percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period last year, with business-related travel down by more than 33 percent, according to official figures.
This is a stark change from just two years ago, when a bilateral agreement between China and the US allowed carriers to double the number of non-stop flights between the two countries by 2012, although with the current economic situation, airlines have no choice but to wait and see.