United Airlines won a fierce four-way contest to start a lucrative new daily flight between the US and China as early as March, the Financial Times reported. United is already the largest carrier between the US and China, and plans to launch the first service between Washington and Beijing within 90 days of securing final approval. American, Continental and Northwest — which also have existing China services — are expected to appeal Tuesday's tentative decision by the US Department of Transportation (DoT). They are expected to argue that United would have excessive concentration in the market. However, the DoT said United's proposal had "the potential to benefit the greatest number of passengers", and would also provide the largest capacity, adding 253,000 more seats a year to the US-China market.
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