DFW Airport—The cities of Dublin, Ireland and Munich, Germany are centuries old and full of history. Now, those living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have a chance to visit both destinations without stopping along the way.
On Tuesday, June 6, American Airlines’ first non-stop flights to each destination took place with the Munich flight taking off in the afternoon and the Dublin flight leaving in the evening.
Flights to each city will be scheduled on a seasonal basis from about June to October, but could become year-round should the flights prove to be successful, according to American Airline officials.
Besides Dublin and Ireland, American Airlines began new service to Durango, Mexico and Tegucigalpa, Honduras along with flights to San Pedro Sula, Honduras (scheduled for June 7) and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (scheduled for June 8).
“We are here to officially kickoff the first non-stop flights from DFW to Munich and Dublin,” Cedric Rockamore, American’s vice president of DFW, said. “This is first time in the history of DFW Airport and American Airlines that we will fly directly to both of these destinations. In fact, it is the first time we will fly directly from DFW to Ireland. It is our second flight from here to Germany.”
Before June 6, those flying from DFW could travel to Dublin, but needed to catch a connecting flight elsewhere. Also, American also flies directly from DFW to Frankfurt, Germany, a destination also serviced from DFW by Lufthansa.
The Dublin flight will be the only commercial passenger service from Texas to Ireland, said John Ackerman, DFW Airport’s executive vice president of global strategy and development.
“This is indeed an historic day. It is the first flight from DFW to Dublin and the second flight from DFW to Germany,” said Vasu Raja, American’s vice president of network and schedule planning. “Today marks the first day American will fly over 900 flights from DFW. This is historic, because this is the largest schedule American Airlines has ever flown at DFW. As of today, DFW will create more connections than any hub on Earth. We are very excited for all the international growth at DFW, all the domestic growth at DFW. In the next few weeks, we will start 25 new routes in addition to adding frequency to routes we already serve.”
Setting up direct routes to Dublin and Munich began about 20 months ago Raja said.
“In the case of Dublin, we have a lot of service from our other markets, and we have seen a ton demand from the North Texas area going there,” Raja said. “Whenever we start a new route out of DFW, we reach so many connections. We have had service to Munich from Philadelphia, and the idea was to complement it with service from DFW, in part, because we see so much summer demand from the U.S. We also see a lot of industrial demand where there are German companies that are looking to go into Mexico, and DFW is an ideal connection.”
Currently, there are direct flights to Ireland from places like Chicago, said Adrian Farrell, the Consulate General of Ireland, who works in Austin.
“Anecdotally, we know that Texas has been a massively growing market for us recently,” Farrell said. “Besides the 12 percent of Texans who have Irish heritage, Ireland has become a destination for so many travelers.”
Farrell added that Dublin is Europe’s 11th busiest airport, and it is a “huge connection hub as well.”
“One in 10 travelers going to the U.S. or Europe are traveling to Dublin,” he said. “They are stopping off at Dublin for a visit or are transiting through. We are matching these two great airports, and we think Dublin is going to be great for Texas travelers. We would love for you to visit Ireland, but we think it’s a great place to connect to Europe.”
Farrell said the connection between DFW and Dublin provides “massive growth potential” for Europeans who want to visit Texas, the rest of the United States, or make connections to other countries.
“In addition to these [Dublin and Munich] flights, we are now going to have 17 daily non-stop flights to nine European cities,” Ackerman said. “To put that in perspective, that is about double what we offered five years ago.”
American Airlines, Ackerman said, is “by far” the largest airline at DFW, and the airport would not have been able to grow without the company’s presence.
“American recently added the 190th domestic destination to be served out of this airport,” Ackerman said. “All of that comes in here and goes out on these international flights. Our domestic service is really the backbone of what drives this airport, and this region, and American’s success here.”
Overall, the airport has 253 destinations globally, and is planning to expand its operations, according to Ackerman.
Written by Greg Ford