The Department of Transportation (DOT) awards went to Delta Airlines for the Atlanta connection and United Airlines for the San Francisco flight. Delta plans to provide daily nonstop service using its Boeing 777 aircraft. It plans to initiate the service beginning March 30, 2008.
The airline claims that almost 70,000 people had supported its application for the new route. Included in the count are more than 80 companies, airports, business and professional organizations. A founding member of the SkyTeam Alliance, Delta presently offers flights to 36 Trans-Atlantic markets and 400 weekly flights to 54 destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
United will also use Boeing 777s and will commence this service in Spring 2008. "United Airlines is honored to be selected as the first US carrier to provide nonstop service between San Francisco and Guangzhou, important cities in the world economy," says Glenn Tilton, United chairman, president and CEO. "Our success would not have been possible without the broad base of support from our employees, customers and public officials in California who understand the importance of this route for the economy of the entire nation." The airline claims significant support for its application from four governors, bipartisan state legislators, members of the US Congress and many prominent California-based businesses.
DOT Secretary Mary E. Peters has proposed awards of four new daily flights to begin in 2009. Final decisions on them will be made after a period for public comment. The proposed awards would go to American Airlines for a Chicago-Beijing route; Continental Airlines for Newark-Shanghai service; Northwest Airlines for Detroit-Shanghai flights; and US Airways for a Philadelphia-Beijing route.