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News Article - July 07, 2008

US AIRWAYS, OTHERS WILL SUSPEND CHINA FLIGHTS  
  The U.S. Transportation Department has given permission to US Airways Group and Northwest Airlines to temporarily suspend some China flights without losing rights to operate to that region in the future. Costly fuel compelled US Airways, the region's dominant airline, which carries two-thirds of passengers at Philadelphia International Airport, to announce in May that it planned to delay the launch of its new Philadelphia-Beijing service from 2009 until March 2010. Northwest also plans to suspend some cargo flights to China.

   US Airways, Northwest, American, United Delta Air Lines, Continental Airlines and Alaska Air Group had petitioned for blanket permission to suspend international routes as needed. The U.S. Transportation Department has denied that request, saying it will process requests on an individual basis.

   Fuel for the Philadelphia-Beijing route would cost $90 million a year at today's prices - $40 million more than estimates, US Airways said in May. "We're hopeful that economic conditions will improve by late 2009 or early 2010 to make this route more economically practical," US Airways said. US Airways said it was committed and "on track" to increase other international flights between 2009 and 2011 from Philadelphia.

Source - Philadelphia Inquirer



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