American Airlines, the main tenant for Dallas/Fort Worth Airport's new Terminal D, probably won't start operating there until mid-September at the earliest.
Testing of baggage and computer systems has not convinced D/FW staff members that the terminal can handle the large scope of American's operations. An additional six or eight weeks of tests should do the trick, they said Tuesday.
"I would suspect this will last until sometime after the end of the month -- and I don't think they'd move in during Labor Day weekend," said Clay Paslay, D/FW executive vice president of airport development.
D/FW postponed the opening of Terminal D in early July because of delays with the baggage system and concessions.
Tuesday's discussion was prompted by questions from board members about why American has not moved in.
American will first move a bank of 78 daily flights, including international flights and domestic connections for passengers who started their trips overseas, airline spokesman Tim Smith said. Eventually American plans 114 daily flights from Terminal D.
In a memo sent Tuesday to the airline's employees, American's Tim Ahern, vice president of the D/FW hub, wrote: "The airport and its contractors continue to test all the major terminal systems, including baggage, security and others. Our Facilities Maintenance Mechanics are now working alongside them each day. Testing always means there are variables. When we have a more precise move-in date, we will immediately pass it on to you."
For now, nobody knows.
Terminal E was left mostly vacant after Delta slashed service early this year. The makeover will accommodate a new lineup of airlines.
American Airlines announced Tuesday that it will begin flying from the new Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on Oct. 29.
Dallas/Fort Worth Airport officials are now looking to gradually open Terminal D, with regular international flights operating by July 23.
For the seventh consecutive month, passenger growth at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport lagged industry averages in June, although there are signs of recovery.