The Nutter administration supports US Airways' efforts to merge with bankrupt American Airlines, believing it would bring more business and new travel options to Philadelphia International Airport.
Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler said Monday that a combined airline would have the aircraft for nonstop flights to China and Japan, opening up Asia markets that US Airways can't reach now.
Currently, the only nonstop flight to Asia from Philadelphia is a US Airways flight to Tel Aviv, Israel. Philadelphia is the largest metro area in the country without nonstop service to other cities in Asia.
"American has those aircraft now, so we could get that service several years earlier" than 2017, when US Airways will receive long-haul jets capable of Philadelphia-to-Asia flights, Cutler said.