American Airlines’ DFW-Beijing petition underscores airport’s international mission, Price says

By Scott Nishimura

American Airlines’ announcement Thursday that it will seek federal approval to launch non stops between Dallas/Fort Worth and Beijing underscores the airport’s future as an international hub, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said.

Price, speaking by phone from Beijing while on a trade trip to Asia, noted American’s recently launched non stops to Shanghai and Hong Kong from D/FW, and long-standing Tokyo non stops from the airport.

“Each one of those routes is worth $200, to $300 million annually in economic impact” to the region, said Price, who participated this week in the formal signing of an agreement with NGC Renewables, a Chinese company that’s expanding at Alliance Airport.

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This weekend, Price – who flew to China on American’s nonstop D/FW-Shanghai service – and a group she’s traveling with will move onto Japan, where they’ll meet with the group that wants to launch high-speed rail in Texas. Others in the trade group include Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, DFW Airport Chair Lillie Biggins, airport board member William Tsao, and airport CEO Sean Donohue.

If American’s petition for Beijing service is approved by the U.S. Transportation Department, the Fort Worth airline said it would launch the service next summer, D/FW’s first nonstop service to Beijing, the Chinese government center.

American said it would serve the daily route with Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.

D/FW has added 24 international destinations in the last three and a half years, giving the airport 202 destinations, including 55 international and 147 domestic.

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American applied for nonstop D/FW-Beijing service several years ago, but its petition was sacked by a dispute with its pilots union over the length of the route.