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New China routes for six U.S. cities?

New China routes have been the must-have accessory for airlines as of late, so you can bet back-slapping and merry-making were the orders of the day when the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced two final decisions and four more probable new routes between China and the U.S.

Transportation Secretary Peters announced final approval decisions for Delta’s Atlanta to Shanghai route starting on March 30, 2008, and United’s San Francisco to Guangzhou route in spring 2008.

Peters also proposed awards for service starting in 2009 for Chicago to Beijing service from American Airlines, a Newark to Shanghai route from Continental, service between Detroit and Shanghai from Northwest, and a US Airways route between Philadelphia and Beijing. Final decisions about these routes will be announced in the near future.

If you remember, last year only one airline (United) was awarded a new route. This jump in routes is the first direct effect of the recent air service agreement between the U.S. and China, created in part to lower fares and increase convenience for travelers.

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