November 7, 2016 / 8:27 PM / in a year

U.S. proposes awarding new direct China flight to American Airlines

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Transportation Department on Monday said it was proposing to award American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O) a new daily scheduled nonstop flight between Los Angeles and Beijing.

An American Airlines Boeing 757 aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

The Obama administration has been considering rival applications from American and Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) to operate the flight.

Delta already flies a daily nonstop route to China from Seattle, while United Continental Holdings Inc (UAL.N) has service from San Francisco.

Delta said in a Transportation Department filing that it has a 9 percent share of the seats to Beijing - including codeshare flights - compared with 15 percent for American and United with 75 percent.

American argued in a filing that Delta already holds a significant advantage over American in U.S.-Chinese flight competition, with Delta and alliance partners, China Eastern and China Southern, serving nearly twice as much U.S.-China traffic as American and Hainan Airlines combined.

Those opposed to awarding American the flight have until Nov. 22 to file comments before the Transportation Department makes a final decision.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Alan Crosby

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