DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS/AP) –  It’s been years in the making: American Airlines has announced new, daily non-stop flights from DFW International Airport to both Shanghai and Hong Kong.

American’s CEO says the flights, which start next June pending further approval, will help them compete against United and Delta airlines, which offer more flights to Asia.

Horton says American will capitalize on its DFW hub to connect people to its large network in Latin America.  “We have a much stronger network into Latin America than United or Delta by a much wider margin and this creates a lot of opportunity for us to connect traffic out of Latin America into China in a routing that’s very efficient and doesn’t exist today.”

The flights to Shanghai will use the 777-200 widebody and those to Hong Kong will use the airline’s newly introduced 777-300ER.

Local leaders say the new flights to China will boost trade and the North Texas economy.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says, “Just in the short-term, we’re talking about $360 million dollars economic impact, in the short-term – that’s real money.”

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price adds, “The new flights become very attractive for tourism and business for everyone.”

Dallas resident Daisy Chen has lived here for 13 years.  “I’m excited to death.”

She says she has travelled back to China six times during the past 18 months, and says she’ll appreciate the added convenience of non-stop flights.

Until then, she’ll have to continue connecting through other airports.  “I have to go to Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, to transfer my flights or Seattle, so I always have to change.”

American Airlines had hoped to begin nonstop flights between DFW International Airport and Beijing,

China several years ago, but couldn’t because of a disagreement with its pilots.

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