As American Airlines prepares to begin daily service to Dallas-Fort Worth to and from Valley International Airport in March, airline representative Dale Morris made a visit to Harlingen last week to meet with city officials and business leaders, as well as take a tour of the airport.
Dale Morris, senior consultant for special projects and government affairs for American, met with community leaders for lunch at Frankie Flav’z before heading to the airport. “We are excited to be back in Harlingen,” Morris said. “The advance bookings look great.”
American had flown into VIA before, but stopped the Harlingen service after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
With American’s return, the Harlingen airport is host to six airlines. Frontier and American are the newest additions to join Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Sun Country Airlines. American received an incentive of $834,000 to finalize the deal.
After lunch, Morris toured the airport, where major improvements are nearing completion, and to see the gate and counter areas from which American will operate. A new blue and white terrazzo tile floor is a visible upgrade. There is also the installation of new roof panels that allow more natural light into the terminal.
Runway improvements are also in the works. New behind the scenes air-conditioning and electrical grid upgrades will provide greater energy efficiency.
Beginning March 3, American will offer three flights a day between Harlingen and the airline’s hub at DFW. From there passengers can connect to destinations around the world. American plans to grow DFW operations from approximately 800 peak daily departures to around 900 by this summer.
At the luncheon, Morris sat across from Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell and next to VIA Aviation Director Marv Esterly, whom Morris has known for many years, dating back to when Esterly was aviation director at the Midland-Odessa airport in West Texas.