American Airlines today said it is pleased to have been awarded by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) the tentative right to begin service between Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Beijing, China, beginning in March 2009. DOT issued its Show Cause Order earlier today.
American, a founding member of the global oneworld® Alliance, will fly the route with its 245-seat Boeing 777 aircraft in three-class configuration beginning March 25, 2009.
"We're obviously delighted with DOT's decision today," said Will Ris, American's Senior Vice President - Government Affairs. "We said in our application that American's Chicago gateway will provide increased network competition and customer choice in the growing China market. DOT and Secretary Peters obviously agreed with that assessment, and we sincerely appreciate that."
Ris also voiced American's appreciation to thousands of customers, employees and supporters who weighed in on this subject with supportive letters and e-mails to DOT.
American's Chicago hub is an important gateway to Asia, with more than 500 daily departures to more than 115 nonstop destinations flown by American and its regional affiliate, American Eagle. Besides the large Chicago-area market, American also expects that travelers in 29 states and the District of Columbia will also benefit from the new service and its convenient connections to Beijing and beyond through Chicago.
"China is one of the most important international markets in the world. This 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). "I hope that the success American Airlines has had with its first route from Chicago to China will translate into even greater success with this second route."
"This is good news for American and for the economy of Illinois," said Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee. "The new route to Beijing will stimulate new business opportunities and open up new markets for our products. Also, the direct flight will make the trip to China's capital much easier for business travelers and tourists alike."
"Chicagoland's growth as a global market center is directly tied to our connection with the rest of the world," said Jerry Roper, President of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. "American's new flight to Beijing is a major link in our plans to position our city, region and state as this country's global marketplace for the 21st century."
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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