Those awarded the increased flights are FedEx Corp., Northwest Airlines, Polar Air Cargo and UPS Inc. The new awards resulted from an agreement signed last July that calls for increased weekly China – U.S. flights from 54 to 249 over a six-year period.
Polar had been awarded its first nine China flights last October and began service in December 2004 with six weekly flights. In March 2005, the carrier increased its service to nine weekly flights and the additional rights will permit it to offer twice-daily service to Shanghai six days each week with three of those flights also offering service to Beijing.
Last October, DOT had awarded FedEx 12 frequencies in addition to those it already had, bringing its total then to 23 weekly flights. It used six of the flights to provide westbound around-the-world service, connecting the U.S. to Shanghai with stops in Europe and other Asian point.
Last October’s awards permitted Northwest to offer eight weekly all-cargo flights between Shanghai and the carrier’s cargo hub at Anchorage, providing same-day connections to four U.S. continental destinations.
UPS currently serves China 12 times each week. With the new DOT awards, that number will increase to 18 weekly flights, including two additional frequencies to Shanghai and one to Guangzhou. With the additional flights, UPS will have seven-day-a-week service to Guangzhou. The new Shanghai flights help move the carrier closer to establishment of that destination as a regional air hub.