United Cleared to Offer First U.S. Commercial Flight to Kuwait

The State Department said Tuesday that United Airlines has received approval to offer the first American flight from the U.S. to Kuwait City, starting in October.

The airline, a unit of UAL Corp., previously announced it will offer nonstop service between Dulles International Airport and Kuwait City, with U.S. flights departing Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Flights will provide combined passenger and cargo service using Boeing 777 aircraft.

The U.S. ambassador to Kuwait signed an agreement with the Middle Eastern country last Wednesday that allows U.S. and Kuwaiti airlines to make commercial decisions with little government intervention. The agreement will allow companies to open new routes, set pricing and control capacity and frequency of flights between the two countries.

"We're pleased to expand our global network and look forward to providing our passenger and cargo customers direct access to the Middle East and one of the world's key economic centers," said spokeswoman Jean Medina of Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based United.

Shares of UAL Corp. rose 37 cents to $25.20 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, down from $40 when the company emerged from bankruptcy in February.

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