Delta sees long-term potential in Sino-US aviation amid trade dispute
01/23/2019|2:54:27 PM|ChinaDaily

Delta Air Lines, an Atlanta-based major US carrier, said it is confident on the long-term growth potential of Sino-US aviation market and will continue to launch new flights, spurred by robust demand, despite the overcapacity of the market and the ongoing Sino-US trade dispute.

In 2020, Delta plans to launch direct flights between Shanghai and Minneapolis, Minnesota, which will be the first direct flight that connects China and Minneapolis, the company said on Monday. The launch of the flights is due to the approval by the transportation authorities of both countries. 

In 2015, Delta invested $450 million to acquire a 3.55 percent stake in China Eastern Airlines. The US carrier said it expected more cooperation with Chinese Eastern in the future.

Meanwhile, Delta said sales of most of its Sino-US flights have remained stable. The company did not see significant fluctuation under the impact of Sino-US trade dispute, and it will keep an eye on the relations between the two countries.

"For now, Sino-US trade tensions are not playing a significant impact on the performance of Sino-US flights. In the long term, trade tensions between the world's largest two economies may affect business travel," said Lin Zhijie, an aviation industry analyst and columnist at Carnoc, one of China's largest civil aviation websites.

"The approvals of business and tourism visa have become tighter, and travel demand growth is likely to slow down," Lin said.

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