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Flights of Fancy

For a few weeks, American Airlines has been waging a campaign to land nonstop daily service from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Beijing, China, that would begin March 25, 2007. They're serious about this--even got the Web site to prove it. Problem is, the U.S. Department of Transportation is only going to allow one U.S. carrier to add the daily flight to and from China, and American's facing still challenges from the likes of Northwest, Continental and United--though AA's would be the only flight from the south. There's no telling how the DOT's going to go on this; guess they'll give it to the airline that convinces the most people to sign their electronic petitions, which is the opposite of how we tally votes for our Best of Dallas issue. (Ballot-stuffers, you know who you are. And no one else ever will.)

Today comes word that American Airlines has a study in hand from aviation consulting firm Simat Helliesen & Eichner, Inc. that says the daily flight would be "a boon to the state and regional economies, adding $180 million to the Texas economy every year." Funny, it was only last week that AA said the route would bring $120 million annually. A week from now, the figure's expected to reach a kajillion dollars. --Robert Wilonsky

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