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Last updated 6:53PM ET
April 22, 2021
Riley Supports Delta Service to China
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Ten Southern governors, including Alabama's Bob Riley, are backing a bid by Delta Airlines to offer nonstop flights to China from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The governors all signed a letter to U-S Transportation Secretary Mary Peters. The Department of Transportation is considering Delta's request to begin offering nonstop service to Shanghai beginning in March.

Delta C-E-O Gerald Grinstein said Thursday he expects federal officials to hold hearings over the summer and issue a decision by the fall.

Atlanta-based Delta is the third-largest carrier in the United States. Grinstein said that it is the only one of the large U-S air carriers without a direct route to China.

Grinstein said the route is needed to serve the growing population in the Southeast as well as the region's booming trade with China.

Delta has proposed starting the daily flights beginning March 25th, 2008.

In addition to Riley, the governors who signed the letter are from Georgia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Puerto Rico.

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