Continental has submitted its rebuttal exhibits to the U.S. Department of Transportation in support of its case to provide daily, nonstop service in the largest China market not currently served by a U.S. carrier, New York/Newark-Shanghai, and to offer through flight service between Cleveland and Shanghai.Continental said the proposals filed by American, Northwest and United should be denied, and DOT should immediately award Continental the seven weekly frequencies that come available in 2007 so that Continental can begin its new Shanghai service in March of next year. Continental cites the following regarding its application:
MORE CONSUMERS WIN:
* The New York/Newark-Shanghai market is nearly five times larger than
the Dallas/Ft. Worth-Beijing market; is more than two times larger
than the Detroit-Shanghai market; and is half again as large as the
COMPETITION IS ENHANCED:
* United holds a near monopoly on U.S.-China nonstop routes as it
operates four times the number of nonstop U.S.-China frequencies as
any other airline, operates two-thirds of the U.S.-China nonstop
frequencies operated by U.S. carriers, and already provides twice
daily nonstop service to Shanghai and Beijing. With all of these route
authorities, United could have started Washington, D.C.-Beijing
service years ago—and it doesn’t need to deprive the more numerous
New York/Newark-Shanghai passengers of the nonstop service they deserve.
U.S. ECONOMY BENEFITS:
* The nationwide economic stimulus generated by new, daily, nonstop
service between two of the world’s largest financial centers is far
superior to what American, Northwest or United bring to the
A Continental spokesperson said, “It would be a travesty to exacerbate the current United monopoly with a fifth nonstop flight between two cities the airline could serve today when more U.S. consumers in New York/Newark are in need of first-time daily air service to Shanghai. American’s proposal for Dallas/Ft. Worth-Beijing service has the smallest traffic base of all,—so small that the entire daily Dallas/Ft. Worth-Beijing market size could fit into American Eagle’s smallest regional jet with empty seats to spare. As for Northwest, the airline is already wasting three valuable passenger frequencies for service between Tokyo and China, and Northwest, like United, could serve its proposal today without sacrificing the largest un-served U.S.-China market in New York/Newark.”
Valuable limited entry rights should be awarded to the application that benefits the most U.S. consumers and provides the biggest boost to the U.S. economy, rather than to airlines which already dominate the market or to airlines which propose to serve significantly smaller markets.
Continental’s Cleveland-New York/Newark-Shanghai market continues to be well supported among the airline’s employees, customers, communities and business partners. “A special thanks to our employees who helped generate an unprecedented level of support, which as of today totals over 110,000 signatures,” said the Continental spokesperson.