U-Turning Back to China: US Airways Vows Commitment to Philadelphia-Beijing

Should further evidence be needed to prove that US Airways has no intention of withdrawing plans to offer Philadelphia-Beijing service, one should look no further than the carrier’s latest filing to the US DOT.

Replying to a request by Maxjet Airways for back-up authority to US Airways’ China rights, the Star Alliance member tells the DOT: “Maxjet’s assertion that US Airways is not committed to the City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia-Beijing service is wrong.

“US Airways’ discussions with the City of Philadelphia are intended to ensure that sufficient gates are available so that the company can operate current and future international services from Philadelphia, including service to China.

“It would make little sense for US Airways, or any carrier, to bargain for additional international gates to support a service it does not wish to operate.”

The filing follows US Airways’ announcement that it has delayed a decision on withdrawing Philly-Beijing until the Pennsylvania city’s Mayor-elect Michael Nutter can see what might be done about gate space at the airport (the whole reason for US Airways’ gripe in the first place).

For the record, US Airways told its employees in a recent newsletter that it has informed the airport authority, city and Pennsylvania Commonwealth officials “that if the airport moves Delta domestic flights to three international gates, we will have to reconsider international expansion from Philadelphia next year, and withdraw our authority for Philadelphia-China service that we hoped to begin in spring of 2009”.

Delta made the move last week.

Peddle fast and backwards.

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