SHANGHAI, China – Hailing the new relationship as a milestone in Texas-China trade and tourism relations, leaders of Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport and the Shanghai Airport Authority (SAA) signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding establishing DFW-SAA as Friendship Airports aimed at bringing these two global giants in aviation closer together. The relationship, formalized at SAA’s headquarters, empowers the airports to work closely together on a variety of key business and operational projects – from promoting direct air links between DFW and SAA to sharing information ranging from protecting the environment to airport security.
“China is one of the fastest-growing areas of increased trade with Texas and Dallas-Fort Worth, and we are pleased to work closely with our colleagues in Shanghai to strengthen business and economic ties that will produce more opportunities for passenger service and cargo service in the years ahead,” said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW International Airport, in Shanghai. “We believe this will also boost global awareness of both of our great airports. There is also much we can learn from each other on making our airports even more efficient, environmentally friendly, and passenger focused. The SAA is an incredibly well-managed operation, and we look forward to working with its team on a variety of travel initiatives that will benefit our customers.”
“Like Shanghai, Dallas-Fort Worth is a major business center that provides trade and tourism opportunities beneficial to its local communities,” said Wu Nianzu, chairman of the Shanghai Airport Authority. “Both of our airports are international gateways to these opportunities, and we view our cooperation with DFW International Airport as a new tie to facilitate international business between China and Texas. We believe both of us have much operational experience and technical expertise to share, and I look forward to working together with DFW Airport.”
The announcement was made today in Shanghai before an audience of more than 100 Shanghai business and government leaders, including many with Dallas-Fort Worth or Texas ties. The DFW region is home to 24 headquarters of Fortune 500 corporations, and representatives of those corporations at the announcement included: Texas Instruments, Fluor, Mary Kay, AT&T, American Airlines, and Electronic Data Systems.
“On behalf of the American Chamber of Commerce, I am delighted at the establishment of this partnership between the Shanghai Airport Authority and DFW International Airport,” said Brenda Foster, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. “With this new business connection comes new opportunity for growth and increased understanding and cooperation.”
DFW and Shanghai airports are both international leaders in passenger and cargo service. Shanghai Pudong opened a new terminal and runway earlier this year to double its capacity to 60 million annual passengers – approximately the same annual passenger traffic as DFW.
“Our leadership is very committed to expanding the DFW presence around the world to new economic benefits, new flights, and new opportunities to Dallas-Fort Worth and the entire region,” said Lillie Biggins, chairwoman of the DFW International Airport board of directors. “We believe this is an incredible opportunity to bring new trade and tourism opportunities to the citizens of our communities.”
DFW’s business link to China continues to grow. Already, China Cargo Airlines operates direct flights from Shanghai to DFW with Boeing 747 freighters five days per week. The amount of air cargo carried between Asia and DFW has grown an average of 18 percent per year since 1993, and cargo service to China now accounts for 21 percent of DFW’s total air cargo market. And DFW continues to aggressively pursue passenger service to China.
Officials from the SAA and DFW also held their initial business meeting in Shanghai to discuss the framework of future discussions. A delegation from Shanghai is expected to visit DFW later this year to study runway safety and operations.