United Airlines’ "East Meets West" Proposal Offers Most Capacity, Meets Greatest Passenger Demand and Best Serves National Interest
Proposed Los Angeles-to-ShanghaiService Would Offer Benefits to Traveling Public Far Exceeding Other Routes
WASHINGTON,- United Airlines (Nasdaq: UAUA) filed rebuttal arguments today demonstrating why its proposal for nonstop Los Angeles-to-Shanghai service would best serve the national interest and afford the greatest public benefit.
The proposal would provide direct service between Los Angeles and Shanghai, China. Los Angeles is the largest city in the United States without any service to China by a U.S. carrier. The Department of Transportation is expected to award the route this fall, with service to begin in March 2009.
“Our strategy is very clear: propose service from the cities and regions of the country with the most pressing demand,” said Michael Whitaker, senior vice president, United Airlines. “The data speaks for itself - Los Angeles is the fastest growing market without nonstop service to Shanghai from a U.S. carrier. Our proposal will meet regional demand for service in an area significantly underserved.”
In a statement Governor Schwarzenegger strongly supported United’s route proposal: “China’s more than 1 billion citizens represent an important market for California products and services. United Airlines’ proposal to add daily, nonstop service between our state and China is a great opportunity to promote California tourism and pump up our state’s economy. Direct flights between California and China will only have a positive impact on our state and I look forward to working with United Airlines in the future as we continue to strengthen our economic ties with this important Pacific Rim partner.”
In its filing, United summarized why the proposal should be affirmed over other applicants based on better serving the national interest and providing the greatest public benefit. A summary of key points from United’s filing follows.
United’s Los Angeles-to-Shanghai service offers the most seats of any proposal
The Los Angeles-Shanghai market is larger than the other proposed markets combined
Los Angeles is the fastest growing of all proposed markets
In 2006, the western U.S. had more U.S.-China traffic than any other region
No U.S. carrier service has been added from west of the Mississippi since 2004
United’s proposal will establish Los Angeles as a new gateway for U.S. carrier service to China, meeting the greatest demand
Los Angeles is the best option among the proposed gateways - almost 50% of all U.S.-China traffic originates in the western U.S.
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