Yesterday, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport welcomed Etihad Airways and its new service from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Etihad Airways now offers direct service between Abu Dhabi and DFW with Boeing 777-200LR aircraft operating three days per week on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with daily service scheduled to start on April 16, 2015. The flight is estimated to bring in an additional $90 million to the North Texas economy with three times a week service, and about $200 million per year once daily service begins.
"Another important milestone for the airport, today's launch of nonstop service between DFW and Abu Dhabi means DFW is now host to one of the fastest growing and highly regarded airlines in the world," Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW Airport, said in a statement. "With more than $320 million in total trade last year with the UAE just through DFW, the new route opens the door for additional economic opportunity for North Texas, and it will also open new avenues of tourism and cultural exchange."
The new service continues DFW's recent wave of international expansion, with 18 new international destinations in the past four years. With the addition of the new Etihad service, DFW now hosts 23 airlines and 55 direct international destinations and continues to be only one of seven airports in the world with over 200 direct destinations.
Unique about the service from Abu Dhabi to DFW is that arriving passengers can be pre-screened by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before boarding their flight in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is one of only a few airports outside of the United States to offer an onsite U.S. CBP facility. Once cleared by CBP in Abu Dhabi, travelers check their baggage to their final U.S. destination. Upon landing at DFW, passengers can proceed directly to their next connection or destination without having to process through DFW's Customs and Immigration Hall, because they were pre-cleared in Abu Dhabi.