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BET FOUNDER JOHNSON TO TAKE OVER AIRLINE
New Airline To Be Called DC Air, To Link With Mr. T’s DC Cab To Fully Serve Consumer

Robert Johnson, chairman of BET Holdings Inc., will carve the nation's first minority-owned airline from assets divested as a result of UAL Corp.'s $4.3 billion deal to buy US Airways, Reuters News Service reported.

Details about the new airline—to be called DC Air—were sketchy, but the Washington Post reported in Wednesday editions that it was expected to take over most of US Airways' routes out of Washington's Reagan National Airport.

The report comes after Chicago-based UAL, already the world's largest airline, announced on Tuesday it had reached agreement to buy long-struggling US Airways. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television and a US Airways board member, stepped up to the transaction as it became clear that United would likely have to sell off a substantial part of US Airways' Washington-area business to avoid dominating the region, according to the Post report.

"As a longtime citizen of Washington, DC, I'm extraordinarily pleased to have the opportunity to help create the premier airline that this great metropolitan region deserves," the paper quoted Johnson as saying in a statement scheduled for release on Wednesday morning. "A high-quality, home-based airline is critical to the economic growth of the nation's capital region, and I promise that it will continue to have one."

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