American and United Airlines pause nonstop flights to Shanghai

American Airlines and United Airlines are pausing plans to operate nonstop flights to Shanghai from the U.S. following reports of lengthy waits facing airline crews upon arrival, limited local accommodations and restrictions on their movement in the country, according to people familiar with the matter.

  • Airlines paused their plans for nonstop flights because of lengthy waits for testing upon arrival, sources tell CNBC.
  • American had planned to start a nonstop cargo flight between Los Angeles and Shanghai this month.
  • United has added a stop in Seoul on its San Francisco to Shanghai flight.

hey will instead route the flights with a stop in South Korea, the people said, asking not to be named because they aren’t authorized to talk about it.

Airlines haven’t resumed most of their China service after suspending it in February as the coronavirus was spreading.

American Airlines planned to begin nonstop flights carrying only cargo from Los Angeles to Shanghai this month but will continue to operate the flight with a stop in Seoul, South Korea, on the way to Asia, the people said. It will fly nonstop from Shanghai back to Los Angeles, however. American is also continuing to include a stop in Seoul on its cargo-only flights from Dallas-Fort Worth and from Los Angeles to Beijing because of similar concerns, one of the people said.

Long waits to enter the country and get to hotels are a problem for airlines because it can eat into federally mandated crew rest requirements.