DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – American launched its first flights to China from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Wednesday. The launch is a sign of a much larger international push by airport administrators to gain business.

The airport brings in $31 billion dollars to the North Texas region, annually. Airport administrators said customers may now add $200 million dollars a year for each of American Airlines new non-stop flights to Hong Kong and Shanghai. But its reach doesn’t stop there.

Starting July 1, Qatar Airlines will add a non-stop flight to and from Doha, the capital city of the state of Qatar. Then, in December Etihad Airways will usher in direct service from DFW to Abu Dhabi. Each of those routes will add upwards of $150 million dollars annually to North Texas.

“It just continues the focus on international service,” said American chairman and CEO Doug Parker about their focus on adding more foreign destinations.

DFW airport is widely regarded as a popular international hub, and now the economic impact administrators are seeking will put the airport in a class of its own.

“It’s tourism dollars. It’s the movement and purchases of goods and services and the economic value of these trips is enormous,” said Donhue.

The newly launched flights are the first nonstop Shanghai flights from Texas, according to officials.

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