Airlines Picked for New Routes to Japan

From Associated Press

An administrative law judge recommended Thursday that five U.S. airlines be awarded direct routes to Japan from six U.S. cities.

The judge picked United, Delta, American, Continental and America West airlines to fly the new routes in what is already a $6-billion annual aviation market for the two countries.

Cities getting new flights would be Chicago; Los Angeles; San Jose; Portland, Ore.; Seattle, and Honolulu.

The complex, 90-page recommendation followed applications by a dozen carriers to serve various U.S.-Japan routes under a new international air agreement. Transportation Department officials are expected to make a final decision on the carriers and routes in November.

Judge John J. Mathias selected United Air Lines for Chicago-Tokyo and proposed that two routes be awarded to Delta Air Lines: Los Angeles-Tokyo and Portland-Nagoya. Other carriers and routes he recommended were American Airlines for San Jose-Tokyo, Continental Airlines for Seattle-Nagoya, and America West Airlines for Honolulu-Nagoya.

If approved, it would be the first Japanese route for America West.

The airlines that sought routes but got none were Hawaiian, Northwest, Pan American and Trans World. Mathias also rejected applications that would have added direct flights between Japan and St. Louis, Houston and the Hawaiian island of Maui.

Mathias said his recommendations followed department guidelines for awarding the routes and would enhance competition among airlines and cities to be served.

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