In a sign of confidence in China's export boom, US carriers have requested twice as many slots for cargo flights to China as will be available under a new aviation agreement between the two countries.
Applications submitted as of Monday by companies including UPS, FedEx and Polar Air to the US Department of Transportation lay out a range of ambitious strategies for the rights to 39 new weekly cargo flights between the United States and China.
The US-China air-services agreement concluded earlier this month allows for 111 new weekly cargo flights by airlines in each country over the next six years. In August, rights for 21 new weekly flights come available for US carriers, and one new US all-cargo carrier can start plying US-China routes. An additional 18 weekly flights come open in March.
The DOT will allocate the new rights and pick the new carrier based on the companies' applications, which were due Monday. The department is scheduled to decide early next month.
Six airlines applied: FedEx Corp. and UPS, which currently fly into China; Northwest Airlines Corp., which flies both passenger and all-cargo flights; and Arrow Air Inc., Gemini Air Cargo Inc., and Polar Air Cargo Inc., a unit of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, which are vying to be designated the new cargo airline.
(China Daily via agencies, June 30, 2004)