American Airlines Receives Strong Initial Support for Bid to Begin Chicago O'Hare to Beijing, China, Service in March 2009
With an impressive show of support from members of Congress, governors, mayors and other elected officials, airports operators, civic organizations, more than 80,000 members of the traveling public as well as employees and retirees, American Airlines today filed its application with the U.S. Department of Transportation to operate daily nonstop service between Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Beijing, China, starting March 25, 2009.
The proposed route would offer one-stop service from 72 cities in 29 states and the District of Columbia via American's Chicago hub and would complement American's current daily service to Shanghai, China, from O'Hare.
"From Miami to Dubuque, Iowa, and from Richmond, Va. to Omaha, Neb. and points in between, American has received hundreds of letters of support," said Will Ris, American's Senior Vice President-Government Affairs. "Our proposed Chicago-to-Beijing flight will offer strong inter-gateway, intra-gateway and network competition for passengers and shippers between the U.S. and Beijing."
American bid wins support from four U.S. Senators
"A new route from Chicago to Beijing will open up another wide range of possibilities for Illinois consumers, businesses and tourists," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. "The success that American Airlines had with their first route from Chicago to China will hopefully translate into even greater success with a second route. As competition for international travelers increases among domestic carriers, passengers will benefit from a decrease in ticket prices. I will work with my colleagues from Illinois to support American in their effort to establish this route."
"O'Hare is a critical gateway for Iowans to the national and international marketplace and this new route would greatly benefit Iowa's economy," said Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, in a letter of support for American's bid.
"American offers numerous daily flights from Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, and Dubuque to O'Hare making it one of the largest providers of air service in the state of Iowa," said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. "The addition of this new American Airlines flight from O'Hare to Beijing could assist businesses in Iowa and other states across the Midwest in fostering stronger agricultural and manufacturing times with China."
In a letter he submitted to DOT, Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla. wrote, "American offers four daily flights to O'Hare from both Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and thus offers an extremely important link for Oklahomans to the international air transportation network. Accordingly, this new route would provide significant economic and cultural benefits to the state of Oklahoma."
Additionally, American's Chicago to Beijing flight has been supported by Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska, Gov. Michael Easley of North Carolina, and Gov. Brad Henry of Oklahoma.
American, a founding member of the global oneworld® Alliance, will continue to ask supporters to sign its online petition that can be found at its http://www.flytochinaonaa.com/ Web site. A complete list of supporters also can be found on the web site.
American will operate its Beijing flight using 245-seat Boeing 777-200ER aircraft in a three-class configuration.
The Chicago-to-Beijing flight will operate as American Flight 189 departing Chicago at 11:15 a.m. (Central) with a scheduled flight time of 13 hours and 35 minutes. The return flight will operate as American Flight 188 leaving Beijing at 3:50 p.m. local time with a flight time of 12 hours and 55 minutes.
Passengers arriving in Beijing would have the added benefit of American's codeshare partner China Eastern Airlines and the connections it offers to other cities in China.
From Chicago, American and its regional carrier, American Eagle, offer more than 500 daily departures to more than 120 destinations. From O'Hare, passengers can fly nonstop to Shanghai, Tokyo, Delhi, London, Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, Dublin, and Brussels, five cities in Mexico, four cities in Canada, and to Nassau, Bahamas. The hub is also a central point for cargo distribution for North America and Latin America and will serve as a waypoint for domestic and international distribution for business, technology and consumer cargo.
About American Airlines
American Airlines is the world's largest airline. American, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® airlines serve 250 cities in over 40 countries with more than 4,000 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 1,000 aircraft. American's award-winning Web site, AA.com, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in over 140 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation . AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, the AmericanConnection® airlines, AA.com and AAdvantage are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc.
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