With American Airlines mired in bankruptcy, rival airlines are adding flights at DFW International Airport, challenging the Fort Worth-based carrier’s longtime dominance at its hometown base.
For passengers, the battle could mean more options and lower fares to the most popular destinations.
American has controlled 85 percent of the flights at DFW -- more than any airline at any major airport.
But now, competitors are lining up to chip away at the carrier's weakened fortress.
JetBlue is adding three daily flights to Boston in May.
In March, Delta will start making six flights a day New York.
Delta is also going after American's hub in Miami, offering four new flights from there to New York.
"These other competitors are going to start coming in and coming in,” said Star-Telegram columnist Mitchell Schnurman.
He said American will likely remain a major player at DFW but not as big as years past.
"I do think their share at DFW is going to fall,” he said. “It's sort of like IBM in the '80s or Microsoft in the '90s. You can only go so high in controlling market."
American and its sibling American Eagle will likely trim flights to unprofitable destinations, he said.
“There are going to be some losers in all of this,” Schnurman said. “Some of the smaller cities -- they're just not going to have the service they used to have."
Several other carriers have started serving DFW Airport in recent months, including Virgin America, Qantas Airways and Spirit Airlines. Emirates Airways will soon add a flight to Dubai.
American, once the world’s largest airline, is now No. 3.
Passengers hope the more choices will push fares lower.
"I definitely think it's competitive,” said Gayla Neal of Fort Worth. “It's making it a more competitive market. So yeah, we just look around."
American could also face more competition down the road from its cross-town rival. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines will likely add direct flights to places like New York when federal restrictions on Love Field are lifted in 2014, analysts say.
American executives have said they hope to emerge from bankruptcy in one or one-and-a-half years.