The Wall Street Journal reports Delta Air Lines is the leading contender to receive approval from the Dept. of Transportation for the first new nonstop U.S.-China flights awarded in a bilateral agreement signed in March. Delta has limited competition for the flights since only U.S. carriers without existing U.S.-China flights can apply. In fact, at present only Delta has filed an application -- the deadline is July 16. American Airlines, Northwest, Continental and United are unable to apply, leaving US Airways, which has stated it wants to wait until 2009 to apply, since China is a new market for them. Delta has failed in prior attempts to receive approval for a China route. However, Delta's VP of public affairs commented, "Regardless of what competition there is, we have the most compelling case." Shares of Delta gained 1.3% to $19.67 on Thursday.
Sources: Associated Press, Wall Street Journal
Commentary: 21 Airline Stocks to Keep You Flying High This Summer • Airbus Flies High at Paris Air Show; Delta, Boeing Negotiate $20B Order • Delta: Q1 Loss Narrows, Plans to Exit Ch. 11 This Week
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DAL). Competitors: US Airways Group, Inc. (LCC), AMR Corporation (AMR), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV), UAL Corp. (UAUA), JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ:JBLU)
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