To convince, local CEOs of several Japanese companies sent letters to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
"As a representative of a company headquartered in Japan," wrote Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America, "I can tell you that the influx of Japanese companies .. generated a burgeoning demand for DFW-Tokyo service. "
American and DFW have access only to Haneda, but it's still a feat – and the last milestone in a long history.
When terrorists struck on September 11, DFW was building terminal D for international travel and installing the Skylink communication engine. Local leaders decided to continue the $ 2.7 billion program, betting that air transport would recover soon.
But many setbacks followed, including bankruptcies of airlines, recessions and a financial crisis. DFW Airport ended 2010 with fewer international passengers than when Terminal D opened five years earlier.
The local economy has then revived, American Airlines has restructured and merged with US Airways, and the international terminal has become a catalyst for growth.
In 2004, prior to the opening of Terminal D, DFW travelers could travel to 33 international destinations. There are 63 such places today, including Haneda. Since 2009, the number of international passengers has increased by 70%, more than double the growth rate of all traffic at DFW.
The airport's indebtedness has been steadily increasing, in part because it recently renovated three terminals, representing a $ 2 billion investment. This burden was offset by the traffic growth and installation costs of $ 4.50 that customers pay for each departure flight.