03:53 AM

DFW International Airport Becomes First U.S. Airport to Take Advantage of New 'Open Skies' Agreement

British Airways moving flight from London Gatwick to London Heathrow in Spring 2008; millions get new access to DFW's #1 international destination

LONDON / DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, (June 27, 2007) - DFW International Airport and British Airways announced today that British Airways will move its daily DFW – London Gatwick flight to London’s Heathrow Airport starting March 30, 2008. The announcement, made in London by British Airways CEO Willie Walsh and DFW CEO Jeff Fegan, marks the first major international flight change since the new 'Open Skies' agreement between the European Union and the United States took effect April 30. The new flight will also connect millions of international travelers at DFW to Heathrow's top global destinations. Fegan sealed the deal with British Airways and Walsh by presenting him a Texas-made cowboy hat and black cowboy boots at the airline’s London headquarters.

“We will be delighted to welcome DFW travelers to London Heathrow,” said Walsh, “Next year already promises to be a significant year for British Airways as we move into our new home, Terminal 5. The state-of-the-art terminal, one of Europe's largest current construction projects, will be capable of handling 30 million customers a year.” 

“We applaud British Airways for taking this initiative and making DFW the first U.S. airport to receive news of this new non-stop international service," said Fegan. "Our passengers will now have great service to both Gatwick and Heathrow and the opportunities to easily travel from DFW to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India are greatly enhanced. We also believe this will generate even more DFW - London service in the future.” The Airport estimates that one additional flight to London would generate as much as $170 million for the North Texas economy each year. 

The new service is also expected to boost European travel by passengers from Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding communities as well as DFW's 35 million connecting passengers. London Heathrow had been DFW’s largest unserved European airport for many years. 

"The timing of this announcement is extremely significant, given our number one rankings for customer service and passenger satisfaction, as voted on by the traveler," said Joe Lopano, DFW's executive vice president of marketing and terminal management. "We know that customers make a choice when they travel and DFW's incredible International Terminal D and its amenities and services are one of the prime reasons why they are choosing our Airport. We have wanted a flight to Heathrow for many years to link our two great airports and with the opening of Heathrow’s new Terminal 5, this new flight will be the premier U.S. to EU experience." 

DFW – London By The Numbers: 

• 185,000 passengers travel annually between London and DFW, the largest locally based international travel market.

• 15 percent of DFW’s London bound passengers currently use another airport to fly to London Heathrow.

• London is currently served by 3 nonstop daily flights from DFW. British Airways offers one daily nonstop to London Gatwick, while American Airlines offers two. British Airways is also part of American’s oneworld alliance.

• More than 80 airlines currently serve Heathrow offering 170 worldwide destinations with 130,000 daily departing seats.

• Heathrow offers 30 percent more departing seats than DFW with 103,000 daily departing seats, making Heathrow the third largest airport in the world compared to DFW’s sixth when ranked by passengers. 

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