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DOT ISSUES DECISIONS ON AIR ROUTES TO ITALY, JAPAN AND MEXICO CITY

DOT ISSUES DECISIONS ON AIR ROUTES TO ITALY, JAPAN AND MEXICO CITY
 WASHINGTON, March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today received authority from the Department of Transportation to provide new service between Washington and Rome and Milan, Italy. The department also announced actions on the proposed sale of air routes to Nagoya, Japan, and Mexico City.
 The proposed transfer of a route between Honolulu and Nagoya from America West Airlines to Northwest Airlines was given final approval by DOT.
 The proposed sale of Pan American World Airways' Los Angeles- Mexico City authority to United Airlines received tentative approval from the department. Pan American ceased all operations last Dec. 4.
 The new route to Italy became available as a result of a 1990 agreement between the United States and Italy allowing a fourth passenger/cargo route between the two countries. Currently, Delta Air Lines and TWA serve Rome and Milan from New York, and American Airlines operates Chicago-Milan service. In addition to United, USAir and Delta applied for the route, seeking to serve the two cities from Pittsburgh and Atlanta, respectively.
 In its decision, DOT said United offered better access to Italy for passengers originating in Washington, who must now use connecting service. Patrick V. Murphy Jr., DOT's deputy assistant secretary for policy and international affairs, affirmed a Dec. 5, 1991, administrative law judge's recommended decision in selecting United. The size of the Washington-Italy market means that United's improved service will benefit large numbers of travelers, the decision said. United is required to begin service within 90 days.
 In the Honolulu-Nagoya case, DOT affirmed its Jan. 23, 1992, tentative decision to approve the transfer. The January order said that selling the route for $15 million would improve the viability of America West and promote domestic airline competition by bolstering its competitive position. Last June, America West filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. The order also said the entry of Northwest, with its strong marketing network in Japan, would enhance the U.S. trade position and benefit the state of Hawaii by improving air service for passengers.
 Last November, Pan American reached an agreement to sell its Los Angeles-Mexico City authority to United for $12.5 million, shortly before it ceased operations. The proposed transfer includes rights beyond Mexico City to some 19 points in the Caribbean and Latin America. Alaska Airlines opposed the transaction and urged DOT to start a carrier selection case to determine who should serve the route. In a show-cause order, the department found that the transfer to United would be consistent with the public interest. United plans to offer three round trips daily between Los Angeles and Mexico City, the third largest city-pair market between the two countries.
 -0- 3/23/92
 /CONTACT: Ed O'Hara of the U.S. Department of Transportation, 202-366-5571/ CO: U.S. Department of Transportation ST: District of Columbia IN: AIR SU:


DC-SB -- DC034 -- 0692 03/23/92 15:28 EST
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Date:Mar 23, 1992
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