Houston Community News >> American Airlines Service to Beijing

7/21/2006 Texas-- American Airlines announced Thursday it hopes to offer daily nonstop service between Dallas and Beijing beginning in March. During a news conference, Gerard Arpey, AMR President and CEO said the Wright Amendment had a lot to do with the company's decision.

"There were other cities we considered and we didn't really land on this spot until recently … until we really saw where the Wright Amendment was going to end up.” American is the largest U.A. air carrier, but still will have to rely on traffic from other airports to bring the passengers to DFW International Airport.

“You couldn't support that flight simply with local DFW traffic, there's not enough traffic in this region to make it work," Arpey said. The company filed an application for the route with the U.S. Department of Transportation. The airline, a unit of Fort Worth-based AMR Corporation, plans to fly the route with a 245-seat Boeing 777 aircraft.

American started service from Chicago to Shanghai this year, following Continental's service between Newark, New Jersey, and Beijing. China is the number one trading partner with the north Texas region. The so-called Port of Dallas receives goods via railroad from Chinese cargo ships in the West Coast everyday.

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“The trade links that already exist and the fact that there's no service today nonstop between Texas and China and I think all those arguments bode very well with our application,” Arpey added. The news was especially welcome in Little China in Richardson. "Oh, this is great,” one resident said. “Otherwise, I have to change three times right now. To directly go to China, that's great."

(Contributed by Pam Harris)