12:48 PM

DFW International Airport Celebrates “Endless Summer” With Record Passenger Figures

Hula Dancers, Holiday Helpers and Uncle Sam kick off busy Labor Day Travel Weekend

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (September 1, 2004) - With Hula dancers and mariachi bands performing in four terminals, DFW International Airport's Holiday Helpers Program kicked off its "Endless Summer" celebration at 5:30 a.m. today, as the world's third-busiest Airport thanked passengers for its best summer of travel since before September 11, 2001.

DFW's summer travel totals are expected to exceed 16 million passengers (June through August), about 10 percent above last year's levels and the best summertime performance since 2000. The Airport has outpaced the industry average for 17 consecutive months.

Through July, DFW's overall 2004 growth is 14 percent year-over- year, while the industry has grown six percent. And the Airport's international cargo growth continues to surge, up more than 37 percent year-over-year from 2003 with more than 154,000 tons carried through DFW.

The summer has demonstrated that DFW continues to reap the benefits of added scheduled service by our airline partners," says Joe Lopano, executive vice president of marketing and terminal management at DFW." The seats added in the marketplace have been filled at nearly an equal pace, which speaks volumes about the strong travel demand in North Texas, and the competition is a win-win story for our airline partners and for our residents. The strong demand also extends to our cargo carriers, which are continuing to post impressive year-over-year increases in volume".

DFW's international growth in the past 10 months was highlighted by new daily passenger service by American Airlines to Buenos Aires and the Airport's first direct cargo flights to mainland China. DFW is also expected to set an all-time record for local passengers this fiscal year, ending September 30, with more than 23 million North Texas travelers flying through the Airport.

"It's clear that the aviation industry will continue to evolve in the months ahead, but DFW remains ahead of the curve with strong business fundamentals to attract new service and new carriers," adds Lopano. "And next year when our new International Terminal D, Skylink people mover and Grand Hyatt open, DFW will clearly be positioned to become the premiere international gateway in the United States."

Today kicks off the Labor Day travel week, and DFW is anticipating nearly 1.3 million passengers moving through its terminals on final summer vacations, a strong 10- percent increase over last year.

That's why the Airport's Holiday Helpers are in action today, spreading holiday travel spirit in floral shirts, beachcomber hats -- and in some cases -- grass skirts. The nationally acclaimed Holiday Helper program was born in the days following September 11 and has become an airport tradition. Airport employees and Airport Ambassadors spread holiday cheer, popcorn and information on the busiest travel days. Today, they will also greet the U.S. military's Rest and Recuperation flight with applause and leis for returning soldiers.

DFW's concessionaires are also contributing to the festive "Endless Summer" atmosphere. T-Mobile is providing day passes for free wireless internet access. Pepsi is distributing free drink samples for all, luggage tags for grown ups, and key chains and yo-yos for the kids. The Airport will distribute commemorative Diet Pepsi cans saluting DFW's 30th anniversary. Uncle Sam will marshal in a plane arriving at DFW full of holiday travelers. And Starbucks will keep travelers alert with complimentary coffee in key terminal areas.

"We are all truly appreciative of our passengers and their support of DFW, and our volunteers enjoy the opportunity to interact with our guests and have some fun," says Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW. "Our 'Endless Summer' party let's everyone get in a holiday mood and gives DFW an entertaining way to thank you."

So if you're traveling through DFW today, be ready for the sounds of summer that will take to the beaches of Maui or Mexico, and of course the great travel destination of Texas. Can Jimmy Buffett be far behind?

To arrange interviews, contact Ken Capps, Vice President, Public Affairs at 972 574 8080 or kcapps@dfwairport.com.