HOUSTON, June 11 (Xinhua) -- American Airlines on Wednesday launched two new direct routes from Dallas to Shanghai and Hong Kong in a bid to expand its reach in China.
The airlines inaugurated the maiden flights on Wednesday at its hub, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, with local officials and dignitaries from China present at the ceremony.
Doug Parker, CEO of the airline, hailed the new flights as "great news for people of north Texas," and said: "American (Airlines) is proud to offer the first service between Texas and these important international business hubs."
The recently-added flights, though new routes, are not the first non-stop flights between Texas and China: Air China launched a direct flight between Beijing and Houston last year.
Li Qiangmin, China's consul general in Houston, said at the ceremony that the new flights, or "the sky bridges" as he dubbed them, are bound to strengthen economic cooperation between China and the United States.
The service between Dallas and Hong Kong will be operated with a Boeing 777-300ER while, the Dallas-Shanghai line will fly a Boeing 777-200ER. Both flights are daily.
American Airlines follows United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, both of which have added routes to Asia. On Monday, United Airlines launched flights from San Francisco to Chengdu, while Delta plans to launch a nonstop flight between Seattle and Hong Kong next week.