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American delays Chicago-Beijing service

American Airlines said on Monday that it will delay the beginning of its daily, non-stop service from Chicago to Beijing until next month because China has not given it viable take-off and landing slots.
/ Source: Reuters

American Airlines said on Monday that it will delay the beginning of its daily, non-stop service from Chicago to Beijing until next month because China has not given it viable take-off and landing slots.

"Simply put, American has not received commercially-viable landing and take-off slots for Beijing Capital International Airport from Chinese aviation authorities," the carrier said in a statement.

The unit of AMR Corp said it applied for slots at Beijing in October 2009. The company had planned to offer service from Chicago to Beijing beginning on Monday, it said.

"American's planned flights were sold with the reasonable expectation that, in common with industry practice, viable slots would be confirmed in time for the scheduled start date of the new service, which had been approved by the governments of both the United States and China," American said.

The company said it hopes it can resolve the issue by May 4, when it plans to start service from Chicago to Beijing, followed by Beijing-to-Chicago service on May 5. It said it was rebooking customers on other flights, offering full refunds or the opportunity to travel at a later date.