Queensland education providers, tourism operators, produce exporters and entrepreneurs contemplating North American expansion have been given a boost today with American Airlines announcing it will be starting a daily service between Brisbane and Dallas Fort Worth.
Dallas Fort Worth is the USA's second-busiest airport with connections to 254 domestic and international destinations, and is just a three-hour drive from the Texan startup hub of Austin - the US city with the third-highest proportion of founders according to OnDeck analysis of LinkedIn data.
The Queensland government's Attracting Aviation Investment Fund helped secure the flights, which starting on 27 October will add up to 18 tonnes of freight capacity - volume that is expected to support the state's exports to the US which last financial year were worth $409 million.
The service will bring 141,000 seats into Queensland over three years, filled by a forecast 62,000 international visitors who are expected to spend up to $113 million.
The state government also forecasts the new flights on 244-seat B787-900 aircraft will support up to 690 jobs.
"This is a massive win for Queensland tourism – more international visitors spending more money in our economy and generating nearly 700 local jobs," says Queensland Premier Steven Miles.
"It’s been a tough few months for tourism operators but this new flight promises better times ahead for them, our primary producer exporters, and education providers," says Miles, noting the investment fund has now supported 28 new flights into the state.
Queensland's Deputy Premier and Treasurer Cameron Dick describes the new route as "massive coup" as the state rebuilds international tourism after the COVID downturn, opening up the state to the lucrative North American market during the peak winter period.
"This new American Airlines service also opens up so many new opportunities for Queensland businesses, both in Texas and across parts of the eastern and southern United States," he says.
"Dallas Fort Worth is one of the top 5 largest and busiest airports in the world and its metroplex is home to 24 fortune 500 company headquarters."
"The extra freight capacity is great news for Queensland exports, especially with fresh produce now able to be flown out of Brisbane instead of being trucked interstate to other airports," adds Tourism Minister Michael Healy.
Brisbane Airport CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff describes American Airlines' latest announcement as locking in the airport's 30th direct international connection and Brisbane's longest route. There are currently three other direct flight destinations in North America from Brisbane - Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
"Its Dallas Fort Worth hub will provide travellers with a world of options in North, Central and South America," he says.
"It underscores Brisbane’s allure as a global destination, and unlocks fresh tourism and business prospects for Queensland, with every jet providing export opportunities to the USA.
"Our partnership with American Airlines supercharges Brisbane Airport’s position as an aviation hub and will be Brisbane’s fourth gateway into North America, alongside Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles."
American Airlines vice president international operations, José Freig, says the new service will give customers in Brisbane access to the airline's largest US hub, from where they can connect to explore "unexplored and much-loved destinations around the world; from sunny Miami, to the deep South in Sao Paolo and beyond".
"We’ve had an incredible response from travellers looking to venture to North America and beyond from Australia, so we’re excited to be further strengthening our Asia-Pacific footprint as we add sunny Queensland to our growing list of destinations," Freig says.
"With our new route and our partnership with Qantas, we hope to open-up the world even more to customers."
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