Fort Worth-based American Airlines announced Wednesday they will begin nonstop flights between Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and China next summer.
Alongside Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and DFW Airport chairman Robert Hsueh, AMR chairman Tom Horton said the airline plans to offer the first nonstop flights from DFW to Shanghai and Hong Kong, pending regulatory approval, in June.
"Today's news underscores our commitment to strengthen American's global network in the most important markets around the world,” said Tom Horton, Chairman and CEO of American Airlines. “This is just another example of how we're taking a fresh look at everything we do to provide what our customers value most -- from new planes, products and services, to new destinations around the world. Simply put, we’re building an even stronger foundation to succeed in our pending merger with US Airways.”
American Airlines will offer five nonstop flights per week on Boeing 777-200 aircraft to Shanghai's Pudong International Airport (PVG). AA will also offer daily, nonstop flights between DFW and Hong Kong International (HKG) on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Hong Kong, a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, has a population of about 7 million people while Shanghai, the largest city in China, has a population of more than 21 million.
Both cities are among the world's leading financial centers.
“We’ve been working hard on building our international relationships, and our work continues to pay off for North Texas,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “Today’s news is great for the Metroplex and a landmark development for the state of Texas, whose residents will have direct access to Hong Kong and Shanghai for the first time in our history. The Asian market is ripe for Texas business and tourists alike.”
“These new routes will represent more than $360 million in annual economic impact for our region and launch Dallas and Fort Worth into a new dimension of international business and cultural engagement," said Rawlings.
Both routes will be operated as part of American’s joint business agreement with fellow OneWorld alliance member Japan Airlines.
American Airlines hopes to exit bankruptcy protection soon and form the world's largest carrier by merging with Phoenix-based U.S. Airways. The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit challenging the merger -- which will go to court on Nov. 25.
NBC 5's Ray Villeda and Jeff Smith contributed to this report.