Delta Air Lines, which works closely with Virgin Australia on the Pacific, is looking at creating an international hub in Shanghai to build on a growing relationship with China Eastern Airlines.
On the Australian front, China Eastern is a close associate of Virgin Australia’s arch-rival Qantas, making for interesting complexities. Qantas and China Eastern are so close that the ACCC has just knocked back their application to work together in the Australia-China market, arguing the partnership would result in “significant public detriment”.
Now, Delta chief executive Richard Anderson has spoken of building an international hub in Shanghai along the lines of the one Delta operates in Amsterdam.
Anderson’s comments, conveyed to Delta employees in a recorded message, mentioned that Delta will start a daily Los Angeles-to-Shanghai route later this year. It already flies to Shanghai from Detroit.
Bloomberg news service reports that Delta last week became the first US carrier to accept payments from China’s Alipay, similar to PayPal. It also is “co-locating” with China Eastern inside the Shanghai airport.
“As we plan for our long-term future, it becomes more clear every day that China will be a major part of our business,” Anderson said in his message.
Delta is number two US carrier on the Pacific after United Airlines.
Written by : Peter Needham