American Airlines plans to begin nonstop service next year from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Beijing, it said Thursday.
The route would be the third DFW-China route that American has launched within 12 months. It began flights from D/FW Airport to Shanghai and Hong Kong in June.
“By adding this new Beijing service, American will achieve a significant milestone in the development of its Asian network by offering nonstop service from Dallas/Fort Worth to five key markets in Asia -Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo,” American’s chief marketing officer, Andrew Nocella, said in American’s release.
“The pending addition of Beijing and recent additions of Shanghai and Hong Kong elevate Dallas/Fort Worth to one of the primary connecting hubs between Asia and destinations within the U.S. as well as Mexico, Central and South America,” he said.
American asked the U.S. Department of Transportation for permission to fly the route since the air service treaty between the United States and China limits the number of weekly flights allowed.
However, not all frequencies are being used, and American expects no problem getting the required permission.
American did not give a start date for the new flights other than “next summer.” It said it would use a Boeing 777-200ER, the same model being used on the DFW-Shanghai route.
With the DFW-Beijing route’s start, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport will have five routes to Asia. American has flown for 27 years to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, and it began flying to Seoul, South Korea, in 2013.
The D/FW flights to Beijing will give Aemrican a second gateway to China’s capital. It has flown to Beijing from its Chicago O’Hare hub since 2010.
We raised the question of DFW-Beijing service in June as American was preparing to launch its Shanghai and Hong Kong routes. Nocella said then he would expect that American would want to launch a Beijing route “within the next two or three years.”
We also asked Sean Donohue, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport’s CEO, about the possibility of a DFW-Beijing route. His answer was that he wasn’t aware of anything in the near future.
“But fair to say, the obvious next choice would be Beijing. We’ve been working hard, talking to multiple carriers that would be interested in that,” Donohue said last June. “Obviously, we’d be more than interested if American was looking at it, but I don’t see anything imminent. However, more service to China is clearly on our priority list.”
The American announcement included comments from the mayors of Fort Worth and Dallas, Donohue and a Chinese official.
“We are thrilled with today’s news and this new route connecting Dallas/Fort Worth to Beijing is a huge milestone for the region and for DFW Airport,” Donohue said. ”With this new route, American will offer travelers six daily flights to Asia from DFW Airport, which is American’s prime point of entry for Asian customers into the United States and Latin America.”
“Today’s news is great for Dallas/Fort Worth area residents who will have direct access to China’s capital city for the first time,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said. “This new route will connect our great Metroplex to a very important destination in Asia and will play a key role in further strengthening ties between our region and Asia.”
“The trans-Pacific market is critical for business across the state of Texas and this new service is a direct conduit to open new opportunities for trade and tourism in our region,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings saud. “This new route represents a huge opportunity for significant economic impact for our region by connecting DFW directly to Beijing.”
“This new route will provide our region with critical nonstop access to one of the most populous cities in the world,” said Li Qiangmin , consul general of the People’s Republic of China in Houston. “This expansion of service to China is tremendously important, and will not only benefit business relations and economic growth in both countries, but also help bring closer Chinese people and American people, and eventually be conducive to the China-U.S. cooperative relations.”
This marks the second time Aemrican has proposed a D/FW-Beijing route.
When U.S. and Chinese negotiators agreed to allow expanded service between the two nations in 2006, American had applied for the D/FW-Beijing route and was a favorite to get the route.
However, the length of the trip was longer than allowed its pilot union contract. The Allied Pilots Association demanded some concessions in exchange for allowing the longer flights, and the company declined to agree to the changes.
American asked to amend its application to make it a D/FW-Chicago-Beijing route, a change that would keep each leg of the flying within duty-time limits. However, DOT officials passed over the AA application in favor of United Airlines’ proposal for a Washington, D.C.-Beijing route.
Read the original news from Dallas Morning News at http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2014/09/american-airlines-plans-to-fly-from-dallasfort-worth-to-beijing.html/?hootPostID=c5dd11d59dacbfc3d6caeb287cae0ebc