American Airlines is adding its first-ever non-stop service from D/FW Airport to Hong Kong and Shanghai.
CEO Tom Horton announced the new daily service today, saying it reinforces American’s commitment to strengthen its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The new flights will start next summer.
American Airlines has for years competed for these lucrative routes with no success. Texans had to fly to other U.S. cities for connecting China flights.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price called this service great news for the region.
"People don’t’ see boundaries any longer," she said. "They see the opportunity to get on a flight and go anywhere in the world. And the link in to the Hong King and Shanghai just adds icing to the cake for our region’s development."
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says the new routes are critical for business and “will represent more than $360 million in annual economic impact” for North Texas.
"Now Dallas’ population is ninth in the United States as a city," Rawlings said, "and there are 130 cities in China that are bigger than Dallas -- 130 cities."
American’s CEO Tom Horton said the carrier is growing stronger. In addition to the new Asia-Pacific routes, he said American will hire 1,500 new pilots, recalling all furloughed pilots who want to return. He also said American will hire 1,500 flight attendants in addition to the 1,200 agents and representatives who joined the airline this year.