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American Airlines Revives $1.63bn Terminal F Plan at Dallas/Fort Worth

The $1.63 billion investment creates opportunities for seamless connections and reinforces the airline's dominance at DFW.

by Lauren Smith

May 22, 2023

Photo: Terminal C Pier. Courtesy of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

American Airlines (AA) has reached a significant agreement with its main hub, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), to resume the construction of a new terminal that was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The revived plan includes the development of Terminal F, a $1.63 billion project set to open in 2026. In addition, the agreement entails a substantial investment of $2.72 billion to expand the Central Terminal Area, encompassing renovations and enhancements to existing terminals, as well as infrastructure improvements.

Photo: American Airlines gates. Courtesy of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

The new agreement between the airline and the airport encompasses several key components, addressing the construction of Terminal F and the expansion of the Central Terminal Area.

These developments are expected to enhance the airport’s operational capabilities and improve the overall travel experience for passengers.

Project Details

The revived scheme involves the creation of Terminal F, featuring 15 gates and requiring a substantial investment of $1.63 billion. The terminal is scheduled to initiate operations in 2026, accommodating the growing passenger flow and facilitating smoother connections for American Airlines customers.

Photo: Terminal F. Courtesy of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

The agreement also includes a significant investment of $2.72 billion toward expanding and improving the airport’s Central Terminal Area. This initiative entails a “reimagining” of Terminal C, the addition of nine combined gates to Terminal A and C, and enhancements to roadways and terminal access. These upgrades will provide passengers with a more efficient and seamless travel experience through DFW.

The expansion project will add 24 new gates to the existing 174 at DFW Airport. These additional gates will be utilized by American Airlines and other partner carriers. The increased gate capacity is crucial in meeting the growing demand for air travel, ensuring the airport is adequately prepared for future growth.

Dallas-Fort Worth Airport is a prominent connection hub for American Airlines, with two-thirds of their passengers relying on DFW for connecting flights to the airline’s extensive network of 240 non-stop destinations worldwide. In addition, other oneworld Alliance members, including Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, and Japan Airlines, further expand the potential connectivity options available to travelers.

Photo: Japan Airlines, Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Courtesy of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

With American Airlines customers accounting for approximately 85% of passenger traffic at DFW, the expansion project is a significant step towards maximizing operational capabilities and delivering an enhanced travel experience for all passengers.

Breaking Records

American CEO Robert Isom noted that the investment in the airport has propelled DFW to become the world’s second-busiest airport. Last year, the airport accommodated 73.4 million passengers, second only to the 93.7 million who passed through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

With American Airlines’ support, DFW is transforming into “the airport of the future—innovation, customer experience, and sustainability,” said airport CEO Sean Donohue.

Photo: American Airlines gates. Courtesy of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

“The Use and Lease Agreement not only creates a predictable and equitable business model for DFW Airport, but it also underscores the commitment of the airport and our airline partners to provide passengers with the best possible travel experience,” he added.

The airline has also been “a massive economic engine” for the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the broader state of Texas, the airport and airline noted in a joint statement. The carrier employs nearly 35,000 staff at the airport and its headquarters in Fort Worth. It contributes $42.7 billion annually to the Texas economy, with a total employment impact of more than 365,000 jobs in the state.

Photo: Dallas Mayor Eric L. Johnson, Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker, DFW CEO Sean Donohue, and American Airlines CEO Robert Isom. Courtesy of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

“We are very proud that Fort Worth-based American Airlines has signed this important agreement to cement DFW’s status as the airline’s main hub and help us continue to meet the incredible demand we are experiencing in North Texas,” said Fort Worth mayor Mattie Parker.

“Today’s agreement ensures DFW Airport is ready for the future and to continue serving as Fort Worth’s gateway to the world,” she added.

Photo: American Airlines, Boeing 777-200ER. Courtesy of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Dallas mayor Eric L. Johnson added, “DFW Airport connects our community to the world and fuels economic growth throughout our region and state. We all recognize that North Texas is the place to be. Signing the new Use and Lease Agreement is one step to ensure our region remains well-positioned to thrive in the future.”