US proposes granting three carriers new routes and frequencies to Sao Paulo

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The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed granting three US carriers rights to launch new flights and maintain existing service between Sao Paulo, Brazil and Atlanta, Los Angeles, Detroit and Charlotte.

The proposal would grant the rights to US Airways, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. It would allow the carriers to fly the routes through October 2015, when an open skies agreement between the two countries takes effect, according to the DOT.

At that time, all route and pricing restrictions will be lifted.

The proposal would permit Dallas-based American to launch a daily flight between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo as of 1 October, making it the only carrier to serve the Brazilian city from the US west coast, according to the DOT.

American has said in previous filings that it intends to launch the service on 21 November using a 247-seat Boeing 777-200.

Atlanta-based Delta would be permitted to add a second daily flight between Sao Paulo and Atlanta starting 1 October, though the DOT says the carrier intends to begin the service 15 December.

The proposal would also grant Delta frequencies it needs to maintain existing daily service between Sao Paulo and Detroit beyond March 2015, at which time it was to have transferred seven Sao Paulo frequencies to US Airways as part of a slot swap that allowed Delta to expand at LaGuardia.

The DOT's proposal also allows Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways to continue daily service to Sao Paulo from Charlotte until the open skies agreement takes effect. US Airways leased those rights from United Airlines.

The DOT's proposal does not grant American's request to begin service between Sao Paulo and Chicago-O'Hare airport or US Airways' request for new Sao Paulo-Philadelphia rights.

The agency's proposal also would not grant Delta rights to begin a second daily flight between Sao Paulo and John F. Kennedy International airport in New York. The proposal, called a "show cause order", is open to a ten-day public comment period, after which the DOT has seven days to respond.

The agency typically makes a final decision shortly afterward, says the DOT.