will begin nonstop service from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to
Shanghai, China, on April 2, 2006, subject to government approval. The
announcement follows the tentative decision by the U.S. Department of
Transportation to grant American the authority to fly to China from the
United States. American will become the fourth U.S. passenger carrier to
do so. “We are especially grateful that the U.S. Department of Transportation has
chosen American to fly from the U.S. to China, beginning in 2006,” said
American’s Chairman and CEO Gerard J. Arpey. “For more than five years, we
have wanted to fly to China and have believed that American’s service will
provide the strongest possible competition in this growing marketplace.
This award for new service starting in 2006 will be a big breakthrough for
us in the Asian market.
“We also want to thank all of the members of Congress who supported
American’s application, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert; the entire
Illinois House delegation and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin, Barack Obama and
Charles Grassley. We thank as well Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich; Chicago
Mayor Richard M. Daley and thousands of civic, business, community and
labor leaders,” Arpey added. “Many of those who supported our bid come
from the country’s industrial and agricultural midsection where O’Hare
Airport is the primary—and in some cases, the only link—to
Arpey also extended a very special thanks to the thousands of American
Airlines employees who wrote letters on the company’s behalf to key
government officials. “Coming from the men and women who are closest to
our customers, those letters had a powerful effect in persuading the
government that American is the right choice for China service,” he said.
According to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, more than 300,000
companies based in the Chicago region, including 34 Fortune 500 companies,
also will benefit from Chicago to Shanghai service.
Shanghai will become the 21st international destination served by American
from its Chicago hub and will complement American’s five routes between
the United States and Tokyo and the new American flight between Chicago
and Nagoya, Japan.
From Shanghai, American will offer convenient connections to several
cities within China through its long-standing partnership with China
Eastern Airlines, which is based in Shanghai and is that city’s largest
From its Chicago hub, American and American Eagle operate more than 510
daily flights to more than 110 destinations. From Chicago, American flies
to Japan, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy and