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Fueling half a century of growth at DFW, American’s largest hub

In the 50 years since American Airlines flight 341 touched down at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport as the airport’s first commercial flight, American has continuously invested in its operation at DFW — developing it into the largest hub in the airline’s global network and fueling the airport to become the second busiest in the world. And that continues as the airline strengthens its network and invests in long-term growth and innovation that keeps DFW at the forefront of the world’s airports.

“DFW is the cornerstone of American’s global operation, and we’re proud of the growth and investment that comes with a legacy of five decades and counting,” said Jim Moses, American’s Senior Vice President of DFW Hub Operations. “As we celebrate this milestone, we are grateful for strong ties with our partners at the airport, throughout the community and in the region, as well as the leadership of visionaries in Dallas and Fort Worth who had the foresight to unite two cities with a world-class airport fifty years ago.”

A bright future ahead

Five years after the airport opened in 1974, American moved its headquarters from New York to Fort Worth, Texas. The airline has grown exponentially since then, now serving as an economic engine for Texas, contributing nearly $43 billion to the state’s economy each year and employing 35,000 team members in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

American serves 240 worldwide destinations from DFW and continues to strengthen its network. The airline is planning a record-setting summer schedule in 2024 with more seats out of DFW than ever before. This summer, American will provide more than 10,000 one-stop connections around the world from its DFW hub, which will include new service to Barcelona, Spain (BCN); Tulum, Mexico (TQO); and Redmond, Oregon (RDM).

In May 2023, American doubled down on its commitment to the airport with a new 10-year Use and Lease Agreement, which includes a pre-approved capital plan of nearly $5 billion in investments that pave the way for the future of growth and innovation for American’s customers. Planned terminal expansions will deliver 24 additional gates to prepare American for long-term growth at DFW, as well as updates to existing facilities that will enhance the customer experience and keep DFW a world-class airport well into the future.

Celebrating 50 years

On Jan. 13, 1974, the arrival of American Airlines flight 341 marked the official opening of DFW Airport and the beginning of American’s tenure as DFW’s hometown airline.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary, American team members joined DFW Airport Jan. 13, 2024, to commemorate the inaugural flight by gathering at the arrival of American Airlines flight 3589 from Little Rock, Arkansas. The experience was especially meaningful for American Airlines Customer Service Agent George Zee, who witnessed the airline grow throughout his 50-year career.

“I’m proud to celebrate 50 years as an American Airlines team member this year and to have witnessed so much growth at DFW throughout my career,” George said. “There are many reasons why I’ve stayed with the airline for so many years, but mainly it’s because of the people. I love helping our customers and my coworkers every day.” —DFW Customer Service Agent George Zee

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