Two Carriers Announce Intentions to Fly East and West

Southwest Airlines and US Airways on Friday announced plans for new services to San Francisco and China, respectively. Southwest used to operate out of San Francisco International Airport, but ceased services in 2001. The carrier has not released specific service details, but said it currently is in discussions with the airport and has intentions to return to San Francisco by early fall. "Today, SFO has improved operationally and is a more cost-efficient airport and Southwest is a far larger airline than it was in 2001 and better able to support this type of operation," said Gary Kelly, Southwest's vice chairman and CEO. Meanwhile, US Airways on Friday notified the U.S. Department of Transportation that it is filing an application to operate nonstop service from the U.S. to China, for a route that will become available in 2008. The move pits US Airways up against its former takeover prospect, Delta Air Lines, for the route. Delta has proposed an Atlanta-Shanghai route and US Airways has asked the Department of Transportation to temporarily halt consideration of Delta's application while it works on its own proposal. US Airways has not said which American or Chinese city would serve as the gateways for the new route.

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