Old debate. Short answer: for domestic travel, DFW
will still be king. For international travel, IAH
will continue to hold a slight but definite edge.
Two airlines consider DFW
a hub. DL
is a bit arguable, but they still have a significant operation there. With AirTran expanding, DFW
will only grow. In addition, DFW
's new International Terminal D could possibly attract a new international carrier or two, increasing its overall image.
is about to complete an international terminal expansion of its own, but due to its location and tenants, it will never be a DFW
is about half the size of AA
in terms of flights and aircraft. With numbers like that, there is no way that IAH
will ever reach DFW
's size or status unless it could attract another hub carrier (very
doubtful). With DL
can't even think of becoming the airport that DFW
That being said, due to the nature of Houston's business community and a lack of other CO
hubs in the South, IAH
will probably continue to serve more international destinations and carriers than DFW
. Houston's businesses are much more linked with the rest of the world than Dallas's. Look at Shell, Exxon(technically HQed in Dallas, but the big operation is in Houston), ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips, etc. etc. IAH
already has more London flights than DFW
, and it has flights to AMS
and other international destinations that DFW
doesn't. It also has Air France, KLM, Air Jamaica, and more BA
service. Its proximity to Mexico and Latin America also helps its international status. With a hub at MIA
can route its Latin American traffic there instead of through DFW
has no other hub from which it can effectively serve these routes. That's why CO
is the largest US carrier to Mexico, and the second-largest to Latin America.
That's the state of things in the Lone Star State, and I doubt things will change anytime soon. Heated rivalry between the two cities, of course, but overall it's great for Texas.