Offers of no landing fees and free marketing have been key to persuading several international airlines to launch service here, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport’s top executive said Wednesday.
Since 2012, the airport has distributed $50 million in incentives to airlines to add flights from North Texas to far-flung destinations including Dubai, Shanghai and Sydney, Sean Donohue told Fort Worth business leaders at a luncheon.
“We are going to continue to maximize that program because if you get a return of $200 million [in economic impact per year] alone in one flight, that’s a great return on investment,” Donohue said at the Mayor’s International Luncheon hosted by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.
Unlike domestic visitors who spend about $500 to $600 when they visit Fort Worth, international travelers tend to stay longer and spend between $2,000 to $3,000 in the local economy, Donohue said.
Over the past four years, international passenger traffic has grown 39 percent at DFW Airport. Recently, Qantas Airways and Emirates Airlines both started using the world’s largest passenger jet, the Airbus A380, on routes to DFW.
“Global is where we’re all going,” Donohue said. “That’s why [we’ve] been so focused on growing the international footprint at the airport.” — Andrea Ahles
Israel reported close to buying more F-35s
Following Monday’s announcement that Lockheed Martin has secured its next production contract with the Pentagon for 43 more F-35 fighter jets came reports that Israel may order more planes.
Both Reuters and The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon placed a preliminary order for 25 more F-35s during a visit to Washington this week.
Israel is one of nine foreign nations with orders in place for the F-35. In 2010, it ordered 19 of the stealth aircraft, with the first scheduled for delivery in 2016. The additional planes would be delivered starting in 2019, Reuters reported. Israel has said it may order as many as 75 F-35s.
Last October, Ya’alon visited Lockheed’s F-35 production line in west Fort Worth, where he had his photo taken sitting in a cockpit and tweeted out that the “F-35 is a cornerstone in the building of the Air Force and Army.”
Israel’s first two F-35s will be part of the 43-jet production contract announced this week, which also includes the first four planes for Japan, four for the United Kingdom and two each for Norway and Italy.
In London, Britian’s Defence Secretary Michael Fallon called the production contract “a major step forward” and said the planes will “equip the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force with a highly advanced multi-role stealth combat aircraft, operating from both our new Queen Elizabeth class carriers and land bases.”