May 18, 2010 / 5:16 PM / in 7 years

Delta gets China OK for Seattle-Beijing route

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines Inc said on Tuesday it received final approval from the Chinese government to launch non-stop flights between Seattle and Beijing beginning June 4.

The new route, which will operate five times a week, will offer connecting options from cities in Delta and codeshare partner Alaska Air Group Inc’s network to Beijing via Alaska’s Seattle hub, Delta said.

The company added that a new non-stop flight between Seattle and Osaka, Japan, starts June 7.

Delta, currently the world’s biggest airline after its 2008 purchase of Northwest, is looking to strengthen its presence in high-growth markets as demand for air travel rises in the improving economy.

A week ago, the Atlanta-based carrier said it would add more flights between New York City and key global business markets such as London, Moscow and Milan.

Delta shares were down 1 percent at $13.77 in afternoon trading as major airlines were mixed. The Arca airline index was up 0.3 percent.

Reporting by Karen Jacobs; editing by Andre Grenon

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