MIAMI — Delta Air Lines plans to start daily non-stop flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Beijing, marking the carrier’s fifth daily non-stop service to the Asia-Pacific region from LAX.

The new service, scheduled to start on December 16, pending U.S. DOT and foreign government approvals, will be flown on Delta’s three-class Boeing 777-200ERs, competing with Air China on the route.

The announcement comes just days after American Airlines’ launch of a new route from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. Currently, both carriers are competing to take over the lead position at LAX.

“Delta’s new nonstop service to Beijing continues our expansion in China, providing our business customers with access to Beijing and beyond through our partnerships with the market’s leading carriers, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines,” said Ranjan Goswami, Delta’s Vice President of Sales – West.

Delta is relying on its Skyteam alliance partners China Eastern and China Southern to provide connection to over 39 cities in China. Once approved the new service, Delta will operate 21 weekly departures to Beijing from Los Angeles, Seattle and Detroit.

While American Airlines is the biggest airline at Los Angeles, Delta is currently carrying out a rapid and aggressive expansion, with 162 peak-day departures, and it is supported with major investments of LAX Terminal 5.