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Published February 14, 2013, 03:58 PM

VIDEO: American Eagle Airlines begins daily flights between Fargo, Dallas/Fort Worth

FARGO – An American Eagle Airlines flight landed at Fargo’s Hector International Airport from Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday afternoon, marking the start of service between the two markets.

By: Dave Olson, INFORUM

FARGO – An American Eagle Airlines flight landed at Fargo’s Hector International Airport from Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday afternoon, marking the start of service between the two markets.

American Eagle Airlines is the regional affiliate of American Airlines.

The airline will now provide nonstop jet service in a daily flight between Fargo and the largest metropolitan area in Texas.

When American’s first flight between Dallas and Fargo landed Thursday afternoon, one of the first passengers off the plane was Dale Morris, managing director of state and community affairs for the airline.

“We’re just so proud to be here and proud to be able to serve the city,” Morris said, adding that the flights were already a hit.

“As soon as we announced it was available for booking, this was the No. 1 booked route of the new routes we were flying,” Morris said.

Among those from this region boarding the plane for its return flight to Texas were friends Taryn McDonald, Fargo, and Ray Zachman, of the St. Cloud, Minn., area.

McDonald was heading to Dallas for the first time to visit relatives, and Zachman was heading ultimately for Austin, Texas, to see relatives and to just have fun in a place he has visited before.

Zachman said flying out of Fargo was a better deal than departing from the Twin Cities.

“It was $200 cheaper,” he said.

The Fargo Municipal Airport Authority secured a $750,000 grant from the federal government to help American establish service to Dallas-Fort Worth.

The federal grant was matched by about $300,000 in local funds made up in part by the airport authority, the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corp. and the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The money helped American Airlines offset startup and marketing costs, and it may also help the airline expand its Fargo to Dallas-Fort Worth route, said Shawn Dobberstein, executive director of the airport authority.

Also Thursday, American Airlines and U.S. Airways announced a merger that, if given regulatory approval, would create the largest air carrier in the world.

“It’s going to offer a lot of opportunities,” Morris said of the merger. “You have two great airlines who now will put their resources together.

“I think the options will be endless,” he said.

If the merger is completed, the new airline will have up to 6,700 departures daily to 337 destinations in 56 countries, according to Morris.

“It’s going to be huge. It’s opening up the world to you,” he said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555


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