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Dec 16, 1999

American introduces daily flights from Dallas

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Today, American Airlines inaugurated a daily nonstop service between Dallas Forth Worth and Belize. According to Mike Gunn, the airline’s marketing senior vice president, Belize is gaining in popularity and having a flight to Belize will further strengthen D.F.W.’s position as an important international gateway. The hub already includes flights to thirteen other locations in Latin America. The flight is also good news for the tourism industry which welcomes the new daily service. News Five was at the Philip S.W. Goldson International for the first arrival.

The flight touched down at four this evening at the Philip Goldson International Airport. One hundred and thirty-two passengers alighted the aircraft. It was American Airlines’ first flight from Dallas Fort Worth to Belize.

Luis Alpuche, Manager, American Airlines, Belize

“The Dallas flight to Belize has been a point of conversation for a very long time. There’ve been efforts from both ourselves here the employees, station management, the Ministry of Tourism, the Belize Tourism Board and finally we saw the opportunity to go into the market to be able to explore new markets particularly the West Coast.

Because American Airlines acquired Reno Air earlier this year and our hub got better and there was an expansion in the west coast market we figured it’s the right time, take the opportunity to bring this flight and open up the west coast for Belize through our Dallas hub.”

Mark Espat, Minister of Tourism

“It is a very exciting development for us Jackie because it will open up for us some very interesting markets on the west coast and the mid west of the US. You know we get about seventy percent of our visitors from the United States so we are very excited about this Dallas-Belize flight.”

For the return north eighty-eight passengers were on the inaugural flight. As they waited to board the aircraft, some of them told News Five the new service was long overdue.

Passenger #1

“It is a good service and I think it will be beneficial for the two countries.”

Passenger #2

“I think it’s good because I have a brother-in-law and we usually make stops in Houston so this is okay now.”

Passenger #3

“Well I think it is a good service because I have family there and it saves me the trouble from connecting from one airplane to a next.”

Q: “You like the time as well?”

Passenger #3

“Yes, the time is perfect.”

The flight leaves Dallas Fort Worth at twelve forty in the afternoon and arrives in Belize at three thirty p.m. The plane departs Belize at four twenty-three p.m. and arrives in Dallas at seven twenty-seven p.m. A one hundred and fifty seat Boeing 727 aircraft will be used for the service. American Airlines says as tourism continues to develop in Belize the company will continue to expand its services.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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