Delta, United Win Coveted China Routes

On Tuesday, federal officials announced that Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have been awarded rights to launch nonstop services between the U.S. and China. Delta will operate service between its Atlanta hub and Shanghai, China, beginning March 2008, the first time the carrier will fly to China. The airline had submitted two applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation: one for nonstop flights from Atlanta to Shanghai and another between Atlanta and Beijing, both to begin in 2008. Close to 70,000 people supported Delta's Atlanta-Shanghai application, including more than 80 federal, state and local officials, as well as over 80 companies, airports, business and tourism organizations, the carrier said.

Delta is officially set to fly the new Atlanta-Shanghai route—said to be the most lucrative—following foreign government approval. Delta plans to operate the flight using Boeing 777 aircraft that would offer Delta's revamped BusinessElite class

Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation also awarded United with route rights between San Francisco and Guangzhou, bringing United's amount of daily nonstop flights to China to six. Services begin in the spring of 2008 and also will be operated using Boeing 777 aircraft that offer all three classes of service. Visit [www.delta.com] or [www.united.com].

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