The Georgia Senate urged the U.S. Department of Transportation to consider Delta Air Lines Inc.’s request for a direct flight between Atlanta and Shanghai in Resolution 556 that passed March 30.

An Atlanta-Shanghai route would help to grow business, cultural and educational opportunities between China and the greater Southeast, whose 55 million inhabitants currently have no direct flight to China, the resolution said.

Direct air service between the two locales would also help Atlanta in its campaign to get a Chinese Consulate General to open here, said Sen. Judson Hill, R- 32, who helped draft the resolution.

“This is a strong message to the Chinese government of our commitment to building economic and cultural relations between Georgia and China,” Mr. Hill told GlobalAtlanta on behalf of the Georgia State Senate. He also said that Georgia Senators would like to see Sister City relationships develop between the state and China.

A copy of Resolution 556 will be given to Georgia’s political representatives in the U.S. Senate and House, as well as to U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters and representatives at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Mr. Hill said.

Delta has been meeting with transportation, government and business officials in both the United States and China for more than a year in an effort to win a route into China. The U.S. Department of Transportation, which grants new routes to airline carriers, is not expected to make a decision before the end of the year.

Although Delta does not fly to China, it has sales offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, the resolution said.

For more information, contact Jeff Breedlove, policy analyst at the Georgia Senate, at (404) 656-0019.