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Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Continental, Southwest plan to resume New Orleans flights

DALLAS — Continental Airlines said today it plans to resume flights to New Orleans on Monday, and Southwest Airlines says it will announce a startup date in the next few days.

American Airlines, a division of AMR Corp. and the nation's largest carrier, still plans to resume service Nov. 1 but could move that date up.

Northwest Airlines flew the first commercial flight into New Orleans on Tuesday, carrying about 30 people, including emergency workers. Delta Air Lines planned to run two daily flights between New Orleans and Atlanta today and Thursday then add more flights Friday.

Continental will operate four daily round trips between New Orleans' Louis Armstrong Airport and Houston, a spokesman said today. Before Hurricane Katrina, the Houston-based airline had operated about 15 daily round trips between New Orleans and three cities.

Southwest said today that it will operate two daily round trips to Houston. The Dallas-based airline said it would announce the date and times for the flights this week.

Southwest was the busiest carrier in New Orleans last year, followed by Delta and American.

Tim Wagner, a spokesman for Fort Worth-based American, said the carrier remains concerned about lack of housing and other services for employees in New Orleans as it considers whether to move up the Nov. 1 restart date.

American has increased flights in and out of Baton Rouge, La., since Katrina.

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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