The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that it has tentatively awarded US Airways new route authority to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The flight number and aircraft for the daily service will originate in US Airways’ Philadelphia hub, fly to the airline’s largest hub in Charlotte, N.C. and then on to Rio de Janeiro. It will be primarily operated with Boeing 767 aircraft with seating for 18 in Envoy, US Airways’ international business class, and 186 in the main cabin. Service is tentatively scheduled to begin in fall 2009.
US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker said, "We are honored by the Department’s decision to tentatively award US Airways with its first-ever service to South America and look forward to them finalizing the award. I want to thank Secretary LaHood and others on his staff for a fair and thorough review of our application. Thanks to their work, customers in 82 communities throughout the United States will now have easy, one-stop connecting service to Rio de Janeiro with the new route.”
Parker continued, "We are also extremely grateful for the support we received from many federal, state and local elected officials and business leaders. Specifically, from North Carolina, our thanks to North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, Mayor, City of Charlotte Pat McCrory, the City of Charlotte Aviation Department, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and members of the North Carolina and Pennsylvania Congressional delegations.”
Each year, tens of millions of US Airways customers fly through Philadelphia International and Charlotte Douglas International Airports. Charlotte and Philadelphia’s combined operations supply nearly 1,000 daily flights to more than 230 nonstop destinations.
US Airways was America’s number one on-time airline in 2008 among the “Big Six” hub-and-spoke airlines according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) monthly Air Travel Consumer Report. US Airways, along with US Airways Shuttle and US Airways Express, operates more than 3,200 flights per day and serves 200 communities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. The airline employs nearly 34,000 aviation professionals worldwide and is a member of the Star Alliance network, which offers our customers more than 16,500 daily flights to 912 destinations in 159 countries worldwide. And for the tenth consecutive year, the airline received a Diamond Award for maintenance training excellence from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its Charlotte, North Carolina hub line maintenance facility.