The US Department of Transportation (DoT) has given tentative approval to the proposed joint business agreement between American Airlines and Qantas.

Approval will help maintain trans-Pacific services such as a nonstop flight of Qantas Sydney-Dallas Fort Worth and open up new routes from the US to Australia.

The proposed joint business is expected to unlock over $300m annually in consumer benefits with more connections and fare classes between Australia, New Zealand and North America.

Carriers predict that the new agreement could generate 180,000 trips a year.

Approval of the new venture is also expected to provide additional cargo and air service opportunities, according to the Dallas and Fort Worth Chambers of Commerce.

Welcoming the development, Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport CEO Sean Donohue said: “DFW Airport has expanded its focus on international destinations over the last decade, and this joint business agreement aligns squarely with that, with more convenient travel options and more choices for customers who connect through our airport.

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“We’re delighted to see the agreement tentatively approved. There is widespread support from airport officials, tourism leaders, business associations and corporations in North Texas and throughout Australia.”

Both airlines maintain their hubs at the DFW airport, which serves more than 69 million passengers a year.

The carriers are founding members of Oneworld alliance. They originally submitted their application for the joint venture in June 2015.

The proposal was blocked by the US DoT in 2016 when the airlines re-filed their application last year.