The US Transportation Department Tuesday approved six new flight routes to China, including two to be launched ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games.
In a press release, the department said it made a final decision to award Atlanta-based Delta Airlines a new direct route from Atlanta to Shanghai and approved Chicago-based United Airlines a direct route from San Francisco to Guangzhou.
The two flights will begin in the first half of 2008, according to Delta and United Airlines.
The department also announced proposed awards for four daily flights to begin in 2009: American Airlines for a Chicago-Beijing service; Continental Airlines for a Newark-Shanghai service; Northwest Airlines for a Detroit-Shanghai service; and US Airways for a Philadelphia-Beijing service.
The final decision on these four routes will be made after a public comment period. Usually, other airlines have 14 days to file objections and the Transportation Department has seven days to review potential objections before issuing a final decision.
"By bringing China and the United States one step closer, we increase our ability to compete, boost our success in the global market place, and make international travel for all passengers easier and more affordable," said US Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters while announcing the new routes.
In March this year, United Airlines began to operate a daily flight from Washington to Beijing, the first non-stop service between the capitals of the two countries.
(Shanghai Daily September 27, 2007)