They say everything’s bigger in Texas. As someone who was born and raised in a small island, and now lives in Houston, I have to agree. From the cities, to the airports, Texas seems to take everything one step further. The largest airport by size in Texas is Dallas Ft. Worth. This airport is American Airline’s’ largest hub, and they have long sought to expand service through them. However, this trend is beginning to change, as the airport seeks newer long haul flights. The team behind the expansion, led by the Dallas and Ft Worth mayors, is seeking to add to the growing portfolio of destinations from the airport.
Where are they now?
Over the past few years, DFW has added flights to Australia, Canada, South Korea, Italy, Japan, China and Qatar. The airport has increased service from smaller carriers (such as Ultra Low Cost Carriers), international carriers (such as Qatar Airways to Doha) and their home town hero (American flights to Amsterdam and Italy). Over the past five years, 31 new international destinations have been added. This incredible growth has been driven by lower fuel prices, and the aggressive pitch used by the expansion team.
Where to next?
The airport is currently looking at more flights to Germany, Australia and South Africa, among others. The target cities most likely to be met are (in my opinion) Dublin, Auckland, Melbourne and Helsinki. Dublin would be added given Aer Lingus’ expansion plans and if they join the JV that encompasses American, IAG and Finnair. Helsinki is a similar situation, with Finnair joining forces with American. Auckland and Melbourne would depend on the Qantas American Joint Venture going through. If the JV does happen, these flights could be served between Qantas and American in order to funnel more traffic to the region.
Who else besides targets?
Beyond the target cities that the airport has in mind, there are a few other options that I can see happening. With American and China Southern starting a new partnership, I would like to see flights from Guangzhou to DFW. Cathay Pacific has been interested in launching flights from HKG to Dallas, but this seems unlikely to me, given American flies the route and both rely on the codeshare relationship to make it work. I can see Spirit Airlines adding some leisure routes from the airport to some tropical international destinations. Emirates could return their A380 to Dallas, if the conditions are right. Finally, LAN could launch flights to South America codesharing with American.
I think the Dallas Ft Worth expansion seekers have their work cut out for them. That being said, I can see their efforts being fruitful if they continue to play their cards right. It will take a few more months to see any new development, but I have hopes they will add at least one more destination before the end of the year. I love transiting through Dallas, and I find it one of the most seamless transfer airports in American Airlines’ network.
What do you think? Who should fly next to DFW? Where else should the expansion team be looking for to add service? Let us know!
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H/T: Dallas Morning News
All images from Wikipedia.