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UNITED AIRLINES ACQUIRES USAIR'S PHILADELPHIA-LONDON ROUTE; SEEKS TO TRANSFER ROUTE AUTHORITY TO CHICAGO-LONDON MARKET

 CHICAGO, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines announced today that it has reached an agreement with USAir to acquire its Philadelphia- London route in order to transfer the route authority to the Chicago- London Heathrow market. The service will link United's principal domestic hub at O'Hare International Airport with its European connecting complex at London's Heathrow Airport.
 "Our proposal provides President Clinton's administration with an early opportunity for the U.K. government to demonstrate its commitment to expanding air transportation between our two countries," said United Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen M. Wolf. "Not only will a new Chicago-London route take us closer to a more balanced U.S.-U.K. aviation relationship, it will introduce more choice and competition to the marketplace, which clearly benefits the consumer."
 With its largest hub at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and a connecting complex at London's Heathrow Airport, United offers travelers and shippers convenient connections to 98 North American points out of Chicago and, this summer, seven European markets non-stop from London on either United or its code-share partner, British Midland. Among the U.S. airlines serving London, United is the only carrier barred from linking the British capital with a route from its major domestic hub.
 "Chicago has a pressing and long-standing need for competitive U.S. carrier service to London," Wolf emphasized. "Under the current U.S.- U.K. aviation bilateral agreement, additional airline service between Chicago and London has been blocked for 16 years. Meanwhile, New York has three U.S. flag carriers to London; and Boston, Miami and Los Angeles each have two.
 "Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is the country's largest air transportation hub -- far larger in terms of overall traffic than any of the U.S. airports with multiple U.S. carrier service to London," he said. "This agreement provides a way to add competitive U.S. carrier service in Chicago in a manner consistent with the approach President Clinton and Secretary Pena have taken toward the U.K. in approving the British Airways-USAir transaction."
 The U.S. government granted approval earlier this month on that transaction for one year and emphasized that an extension and any approvals of additional investments by British Airways would be contingent on further liberalization. As part of British Airways' initial investment in and code-share agreement with USAir, USAir agreed to dispose of its three London routes from Philadelphia, Baltimore/Washington and Charlotte. Payment to USAir will be made only if United gains approval to transfer the authority to the Chicago-London market.
 "This transaction will put a national asset -- USAir's Philadelphia- London route -- to its best and highest use," noted Wolf.
 United plans to operate the Chicago-London service using Boeing 747 aircraft as soon as practicable after the transaction is approved.
 -0- 3/29/93
 /CONTACT: Joe Hopkins, 708-952-5770, or (night) 708-952-4088, or (investors) Pamela Hanlon, 708-952-7501, both of United Airlines/
 (UAL U)


CO: UAL Corp. ST: Illinois IN: AIR SU: TNM

TS -- NY059 -- 0499 03/29/93 11:57 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 29, 1993
Words:498
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