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Bid by American Airlines to Fly From Chicago to Beijing Garners Considerable Congressional Support

25 U.S. Senators, 81 U.S. Representatives, 15 Governors, and Dozens of Mayors, Local Government Officials and Airports Join Thousands of Business and Civic Leaders, Educators and Travelers in Supporting American Airlines

An overwhelming show of support continues to pour in for American's bid to fly nonstop from Chicago to Beijing, China, effective March 25, 2009. Letters from U.S. Senators from Illinois, Texas, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin as well as the entire 19-member Illinois Congressional delegation, a majority of the 32-member Texas Congressional delegation, the entire five-member Oklahoma Congressional delegation, plus the entire nine-member Missouri delegation, have been sent to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Mary Peters urging award of authority to American to begin Chicago to Beijing service. This convincing support is in addition to the backing of governors, mayors, airports, more than 500 businesses and chambers of commerce, as well as over 102,000 travelers who have signed online petitions supporting American on its Web site.

"We are truly appreciative of the backing that our China application is receiving," said Will Ris, American's Senior Vice President - Government Affairs. "We publicly want to thank the effective leadership of U.S. Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and U.S. House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), along with Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) and U.S. House Aviation Subcommittee members Kenny E. Marchant (R-Texas) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D- Texas) for galvanizing the incredible support for American's efforts. Besides having the support of Chairman Costello, we are pleased to have support of the Ranking Member of the U.S. House Aviation Subcommittee, Thomas E. Petri (R- Wisc.)."

Ris added, "There can be no doubt at DOT that American's loyal customers and U.S. political leaders believe American should be granted China authority in 2009."

American, a founding member of the global oneworld® Alliance, also has received the backing of the following:

Governors back American's bid  
Ala. Gov. Bill Riley                  
N.C. Gov. Michael F. Easley  
Ark. Gov. Mike Beebe                  
Okla. Gov. Brad Henry  
Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist               
R.I. Gov. Donald L. Carcieri  
Ill. Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich          
S.C. Gov.  Mark Sanford  
Kan. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius           
Tenn. Gov. Phil Breseden  
Ky. Gov. Ernie Fletcher               
Texas Gov. Rick Perry  
Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour              
Wis. Gov. Jim Doyle  
Neb. Gov. Dave Heineman  

Additional U.S. Senators back American's bid  
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)        
Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.)  
Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.)      
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.)  
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.)           
Sen. Blanche L. Lincoln (D-Ark.)  
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.)            
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)  
Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R Okla.)       
Sen. E. Benjamin Nelson (D-Neb)  
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)             
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)  
Sen. Elizabeth H. Dole (R-N.C.)       
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)  
Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-Wisc.)    
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)  
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa)     
Sen. Jack Reed (R-R.I.)  
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.)             
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)  
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)              
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.)  

Additional U.S. Representatives back American's proposed

Members of the Ilinois delegation signing a letter to Sec. Peters include:

Rep. Melissa L. Bean (D-Ill.)         
Rep. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.)  
Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.)            
Rep. Ray H. LaHood (R-Ill.)  
Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.)          
Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.)  
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.)            
Rep. Donald A. Manzullo (R-Ill.)  
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.)       
Rep. Peter J. Roskam (R-Ill.)  
Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.)               
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.)  
Rep. J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.)       
Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky (D-Ill.)  
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.)      
Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.)  
Rep. Timothy V. Johnson(R-Ill.)       
Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.)

Members of the Missouri delegation signing a letter to Sec. Peters include:

Rep. Todd Aiken (R-Mo.)               
Rep Jo Anne Emerson (R-Mo.)  
Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)                
Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.)  
Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.)            
Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.)  
Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.)            

House Armed Services Committee  
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.)           
Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.)

Members of the North Carolina delegation signing a letter to Sec. Peters include:

Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.)       
Rep. Brad Miller (D.-N.C.)  
Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.)            
Rep. David E. Price (D-N.C.)  
Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.)           
Rep. Melvin L. Watt (D-N.C.)

Members of the Oklahoma delegation signing a letter to Sec. Peters include:

Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.)              
Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.)  
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.)               
Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.).  
Rep. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.)

Members of the Texas Congressional delegation signing a letter to Sec. Peters include:

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas)             
Rep. Ruben E. Hinojosa (D-Texas)  
Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas)     
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas)  
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas)           
Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz (D-Texas)  
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas)          
Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas)  
Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas)           
Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez (D-Texas)  
Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas)            
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas)  
Rep. Ralph M. Hall (R-Texas)          
Rep. Lamar S. Smith (R-Texas)  
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)

Additional members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have sent letters to Sec. Peters on American's behalf include:

Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Penn.)          
Rep. Steve Kagen, M.D. (D-Wisc.)  
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.)          
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)  
Rep. John Boozman (R-Ark.)            
Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.)  
Rep. Leonard L. Boswell, (D-Iowa)     
Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisc.)  
Rep. Nancy Boyda (D-Kan.)             
Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.)  
Rep. Bruce L. Braley (D-Iowa)         
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.)  
Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.)              
Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.)  
Rep. Donna M. Christensen             
Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio)   
Rep. Bill Schuster (R-Penn.)  
Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.)     
Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.)  
Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn)             
Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.)  
Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-Fla.)       
Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.)  
Rep. Tim Holden (D-Penn.)  

Mayors backing American's bid:   

Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago  
Mayor Tom Leppert of Dallas  
Mayor Mike Moncrief of Fort Worth, Texas  
Mayor Francis Slay of St. Louis, Mo.  
Mayor Norm Archibald of Abilene, Texas  
Mayor Gerald D. Jennings of Albany, N.Y.  
Mayor Donald R. Mull of Alcoa, Tenn.  
Mayor Michael J. Freemire of Bettendorf, Iowa  
Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston, Mass.  
Mayor Roy D. Boul of Dubuque, Iowa  
Mayor Ron Littlefield of Chattanooga, Tenn.  
Mayor Edwin G. Winborn of Davenport, Iowa  
Mayor Rhine L. McLin of Dayton, Ohio  
Mayor John Thodos of East Moline, Ill.  
Mayor Donald J. Williamson of Flint, Mich.  
Mayor Stephen R. Reed of Harrisburg, Penn.  
Mayor Eddie A. Perez of Hartford, Conn.  
Mayor Hannah J. McKinney of Kalamazoo, Mich.  
Mayor Mike Ragsdale of Knox County, Tenn.  
Mayor Mark Stodola of Little Rock, Ark.  
Mayor Samuel L. Jones of Mobile, Ala.  
Mayor Bill Purcell Nashville, Tenn.  
Mayor Thomas L. Beehan of Oak Ridge, Tenn.  
Mayor Jim Ardiss of Peoria, Ill.  
Mayor Steve Womack of Rogers, Ark.  
Mayor Otis S. Johnson, Ph.D., of Savannah, Ga.  
Mayor Stephen R. Reed of Harrisburg, Pa.  
Mayor Eddie A. Perez of Hartford, Conn.  
Mayor Cedric B. Glover of Shreveport, La.  
Mayor Thomas J. Carlson of Springfield, Mo.  
Mayor Mathew J. Driscoll of Syracuse, N.Y.

Additional support for American's China bid has been voiced by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Oklahoma, 53 of the nation's airports, and 28 chambers of commerce. More than 100 members of the Rochester, Minn., Chamber of Commerce also sent individual letters supporting American's bid. A complete list of American's China supporters can be found at

Quotes from elected officials: 

Quote from Illinois Congressional Delegation letter:

"In order to ensure a competitive regional balance, we strongly believe Chicago should receive one of the 2009 awards given its unique position to connect over 70 communities across the country to China. American Airlines' O'Hare route to Beijing presents an important opportunity to bolster the economies of Illinois, the region, and the United States and we encourage you to give every possible consideration to their application."

Quote from Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.):

"By adding Beijing to American's network the Department of Transportation will provide passengers and shippers more choices and competitive options. It will also help expand cultural ties between China and the nation's heartland."

Quote from Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley:

"This service will provide economic and cultural benefits to the Chicago region and will be an asset to our city's pending application to host the International Olympic games in 2016."

Quote from the Texas Congressional Delegation letter:

"Granting American's application for a second route is a critical start to correcting this massive competitive imbalance and we believe is the essential next step on the road to Dallas/Fort Worth eventually getting its own nonstop route to China."

Quote from U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, (R-Texas):

"Without question, awarding this new route to American will greatly increase competition in the US/China market and will produce tremendous consumer benefits."

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SOURCE: American Airlines

CONTACT: Mary Frances Fagan, Corporate Communications, Chicago,
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