American Airlines launches direct flights from Dallas-Fort Worth to Shanghai, HK

Updated: 2014-06-12 12:06

By May Zhou in Houston (China Daily USA)

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American Airlines (AA) has launched daily nonstop service between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in Texas and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) as well as Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), a sign indicating the rising exchanges between China and the US in general and Texas in particular.

AA has direct flights to Shanghai from Los Angeles International Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, while the DFW-Hong Kong service is the carrier's first Hong Kong destination among its international network.

The new service launched yesterday between DFW and Shanghai will use a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. AA is retrofitting its entire fleet of 777-200ERs to include fully lie-flat business class seats, each with aisle access; new seats in the main cabin; in-seat entertainment; and international Wi-Fi capability. The airline says that the fully lie-flat business-class seats will be among the largest space of any 777 business-class seat offered by any US carrier.

The new daily service between DFW and Hong Kong also launched yesterday will be operated with a Boeing 777-300ER, marking the first time that AA deploys its flagship aircraft to Asia. The aircraft features a three-class cabin configuration with fully lie-flat seats in first and business class, international Wi-Fi, and more customer and cargo capacity than any other aircraft in its fleet.

Leaders from China, AA and Dallas/Fort Worth lauded the new routes.

Li Qiangmin, China's consul general in Houston, declared yesterday "a day of double happiness," congratulating the carrier for achieving two successes in expanding its global network in a single day.

"I am confident that both new services will be great successes, because both air routes connect the most dynamic economic hubs in the world," said Li.

Li said this will further improve the China-Dallas/Fort Worth and China-Texas cooperation, which is already on a fast track with China being the No 1 trading partner of Dallas/Fort Worth.

"These sky bridges are bound to strengthen our closer economic cooperation, and the closer cooperation will increase the demand for flights," Li said.

AA CEO Doug Parker said that the carrier "is proud to offer the first service between Texas and these important international business hubs. These new routes enhance our expanding global network and further establish American's position as the preferred carrier for one-stop connections between Asia and major business and leisure destinations in North, Central and South America."

The mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth said the new routes are welcome news.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said: "We're thrilled to be able to offer this kind of international travel to our businesses and tourists alike, and we're excited about the quality of travel American Airlines will offer."

"These new routes represent a tremendous opportunity for significant economic impact for our region," echoed Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. "DFW Airport, Mayor Price and I have been advocating for more direct access to Asia, knowing the trans-Pacific market is critical for business across the state. Nonstop service has the potential to launch Dallas and Fort Worth into a new dimension of international business and cultural engagement."

The daily DFW-PVG departs DFW at 10:55 am and arrives at Shanghai at 2:55 pm, while the return flight departs Shanghai at 4:50 pm and arrives at DFW at 6:10 pm. For the DFW-HKG service, the daily service departs DFW at 12:45 pm and arrives in Hong Kong at 6:05 pm, and its return flight departs Hong Kong at 1:30 pm and arrive at DFW 4:30 pm.

(China Daily USA 06/12/2014 page2)