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US Airways selects Philadelphia for its proposed China service
US Airways selects Philadelphia for its proposed China service

US Airways plans to apply for Philadelphia-Shanghai service later this year when the U.S. Department of Transportation calls for 2008 U.S.-China applications. If approved by the DOT, the service will begin in  March 2008 and will be the new US Airways` first service into Asia.

"This proposed route would be the first US Airways service to China and would provide access from our largest international hub to one of Asia`s leading countries for commerce, culture and tourism," said US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. "China is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, an important destination for both business and leisure flyers."

"US Airways` decision to base its first non-stop flights to China out of Philadelphia is a testament to the region and builds on the company`s commitment to Pennsylvania," said state Governor Edward G. Rendell.

"Philadelphia International is a world-class facility, serving one of the nation`s largest metropolitan areas. Its reputation for excellence will help the airline succeed in this competitive industry, while creating new opportunities for the region`s residents and travelers."

"US Airways application for nonstop service to China addresses the Philadelphia region`s need for convenient access to one of the world`s rapidly growing economic, cultural and tourist centers," said Mayor John F. Street.

"This exciting initiative will open new opportunities for mutually beneficial economic and cultural exchanges between one of Asia`s most important countries and one of America`s great cities."

US Airways currently serves 19 million customers annually at its Philadelphia hub, and operates 425 daily flights daily to 109 destinations in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. The airline will add service to Athens, Greece; Brussels, Belgium and Zurich, Switzerland from Philadelphia beginning in May. "Expansion to Asia is a logical next step for our airline, our 37,000 employees, and our customers," Parker said. "We are well-positioned at Philadelphia to conveniently serve business travelers from communities large and small throughout the Eastern United States, including the Mid-Atlantic region, and leisure travelers who are discovering Asia in increasing numbers. At the same time, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to Philadelphia as US Airways` primary international hub."

Facts on Philadelphia:

-
The fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States with a population of six million people

- Largest U.S. metro area to not have service to China or Asia

- Second-largest city on the East Coast

US Airways is close to making a decision on acquiring aircraft suitable to fly Philadelphia-Shanghai nonstop and has ample time and financial resources to do so as the carrier`s executives said.

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