North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan is supporting US Airways’ bid for expanded service from Charlotte Douglas International Airport to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The Tempe, Ariz.-based airline is set to start operating daily, nonstop flights between the two cities on June 8 on a Boeing 767, using international flight slots leased from United Airlines. But the airline needs a long-term allotment of slots to operate air service between the two cities from the U.S. Department of Transportation in order to continue flying the route after Oct. 25, 2014.
In a letter to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood released Wednesday, Hagan, a Democrat, said the air service from Charlotte is important to growing business. “Uninterrupted, nonstop air service connecting Charlotte and Sao Paulo is important in attracting new business opportunities and travelers from Brazil to North Carolina,” Hagan wrote.
Ultimately, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx could make the decision on the routes, if he is confirmed as the next Secretary of Transportation. His confirmation is pending in the Senate.
Charlotte Douglas is US Airways’ busiest hub, with about 640 daily departures. Once US Airways and American Airlines complete their planned merger, the airport is set to become the combined company’s second-busiest hub, behind Dallas/Fort Worth.
Portillo: 704-358-5041 On Twitter @ESPortillo
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