Connecting Dallas/Fort Worth to China has been a dream of local officials for years.
And finally in June, they got their wish as American Airlines launched nonstop service between DFW Airport and Shanghai and Hong Kong.
"We know this flight is going to be full. It's a great market, " Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said the day of the inaugural flight. "International connections are the way to grow our region and the way to grow our airport."
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DFW almost got direct flights to China in 2006 when American applied for routes to Shanghai. However, the airline withdrew its application when it couldn't reach an agreement with its pilots to staff the 16-hour-plus flight.
American said its Asian routes play a strategic role in its network and have performed well. This fall, the carrier asked for government approval to start flights between DFW and Beijing next year.