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Tue, Apr 15, 2008

DOT Proposes United Airlines For Los Angeles-Mexico Flights

Delta, Virgin America Also Applied For Route Frontier Is Giving Up

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed Monday to allow United Air Lines to begin new flights between Los Angeles and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.

The service was made available when Frontier Airlines notified the Department that it would cease flying that route after April 13. Frontier was one of three US carriers, along with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, serving the market.

Under the U.S.-Mexico aviation agreement, three US airlines may fly between Los Angeles and San Jose del Cabo. In addition to United, Delta Air Lines and Virgin America applied for the right to serve the route.

In its show-cause order, the Department tentatively found that United’s proposal would provide the best service to air travelers. The Department noted while all the applicants proposed to operate a single daily year-round flight, only United proposed to operate two daily flights during the heavily traveled summer months.

The Department also noted United’s proposal would provide connecting benefits, that could promote sustained competition and service on the route. United would be required to begin service 90 days following a final decision.

If made final, United’s authority will be effective for two years. Delta was tentatively selected as backup carrier in case United is either unable to begin service or, at a minimum, sustain the service it proposed.

Objections to the Department’s order are due in seven days, with answers to objections from interested parties due five days afterward.

FMI: www.dot.gov, www.united.com, www.regulations.gov -- Reference docket DOT-OST-2008-0056

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