D/FW AIRPORT –– American Airlines on Wednesday announced it would begin flying nonstop from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to Hong Kong and Shanghai, the latter being a first for the Fort Worth-based air carrier.
The daily routes will begin in summer 2014, said Tom Horton, CEO of American’s parent company AMR. A Boeing 777-300ER will take passengers to Hong Kong while a 777-200 will handle the route to Shanghai.
D/FW Airport has experienced significant international growth in recent years. Emirates Airlines added a direct flight to Dubai in 2012 and Australian carrier Quantas began flying to North Texas in 2011. This is also the second large-scale international announcement American has made this year –– it started a nonstop flight to Seoul in May.
Horton made the announcement from D/FW Airport alongside Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. Rawlings estimates the routes will have a $360 million economic impact for the region. The first talks about adding the routes to China began in early 2011, Price said.
“It pays off for the whole region,” she said. “D/FW Airport is the largest economic engine in the whole region and this will add to that base.”
This is the first time American has offered a flight to Shanghai. It currently offers flights to Hong Kong out of Los Angeles International and Chicago O’Hare. As a member of the oneworld alliance –– one of the world’s three largest global airline alliances –– customers will be able to fly to more than 145 Asian destinations, a release says.
Currently, American is waiting on approval from the Department of Justice to move forward with a merger with Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways. The DOJ and five states have sued to block the merger, saying it would stifle competition and increase fees. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott initially was part of the lawsuit but has since withdrawn it.
On Tuesday, Rep. Marc Veasey, D – Dallas, and 67 other representatives sent President Barack Obama a letter urging the DOJ to quash the legal challenge so the two airlines can move forward with the merger, which will create the nation's largest air carrier.