04:10 AM

DFW International Airport Celebrates New American Airlines Nonstop Service to Madrid

New service brings more than $100 million annually to North Texas; Spanish entertainers create lively gate celebration

(DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, TX – May 1, 2009) Sounds of flamenco-style music filled the air in DFW’s International Airport’s International Terminal D as American Airlines’ much-anticipated new service to Madrid began today. Departing passengers on American Flight 36 enjoyed festive gate activities and were also treated to a “shower of affection” by the Airport’s Department of Public Safety as the Boeing 767 taxied for departure.

"With this flight, DFW continues to demonstrate it is the premier international gateway for our part of the world, and we will aggressively seek new opportunities to grow our international service to benefit North Texas,” said Ben Muro, Chairman of the DFW Board of Directors. “It’s great to see DFW’s largest carrier continuing to grow its global offerings, which increases international connections, creates new tourism opportunities and builds new business relationships for all of North Texas.” 

With the departure of American Airlines’ first flight to Madrid, the North Texas region will begin to see the benefit of more than $100 million in economic impact generated annually by the daily flight. 

“For our business and leisure travelers, this new service not only means nonstop service to one of Europe’s key cultural centers, it also means more connections to more locations across Europe, Africa and India," said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW. "As our international travel market grows, we will create new opportunities for added flight options and even more air travel for our passengers.” 

For DFW, the Madrid service is the first of eight new destinations expected to begin this year. 

"This is terrific news for the citizens of Dallas and all of North Texas, " said Tom Leppert, Mayor of Dallas. "This flight is certain to increase business and tourism between Spain and Dallas and deepen our relationships with this important trading partner." 

“This is another clear example of DFW Airport's significance here at home and abroad," said Mike Moncrief, Mayor of Fort Worth. “Madrid is a wonderful city; and we in North Texas are proud of this important connection. It will boost our local economies and unlock global opportunities with a lasting impact to those living on both sides of the Atlantic.” 

The inaugural flight’s departing passengers were treated to an international celebration of food and entertainment to mark the historic day. Gate 36 in DFW’s International Terminal D was transformed into a Spanish-style plaza, and passengers were served tapas and sangria from Dallas-based Café Madrid. Music by Spanish guitar players and two Flamenco dancers entertained passengers. A caricature artist was also on hand to create Picasso-style portraits of the guests. 

“We are delighted to inaugurate this new service between DFW and Madrid,” said Dan Garton, American’s Executive Vice President – Marketing. “This flight is about opening up new business destinations, new leisure destinations, connecting cultures, and bringing forth new economic opportunities that previously did not exist.” 

A gathering of North Texas business leaders lent their applause as the plane pushed back from International Terminal D for the 10-hour flight to Madrid.

“I could not be more proud to bring North Texas this service to Madrid,” said Joe Lopano, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Terminal Management for DFW. “This new service is driven by the strength of DFW’s business environment and the Airport’s dedication to a first-class experience for its passengers. Airlines have a choice where they bring their flights and I am thrilled that American Airlines has brought another great destination to DFW.” 

DFW has made a continuing push to broaden and strengthen the Airport’s network to the world’s major international cities. DFW now has 37 international and 134 domestic destinations, with non-stop or one-stop connections to virtually anywhere in the world. 

American Airlines will operate the route with its 225-seat Boeing 767 aircraft.