After American’s fourth quarter earnings call late in the week, executives gathered for their internal ‘State of the Airline’ comments to employees along with question and answer session. Vice President – Planning Vasu Raja answered questions about the airline’s route plans in what has been called a “network speed round” but this time just a “lightning round.”
In October at a similar event Raja shared that
- They’re looking at making Dallas-Fort Worth – Reykjavik year-round (this was just as Iceland-based Wow Air appeared to be cracking up so less competition in the Iceland low cost carrier market could change this).
- They’ll consider making their new Phoenix – London Heathrow flight year-round also, depending on how it does. (It appears Phoenix – London has been extended in American’s schedule.)
American Airlines in Phoenix
- Bringing back the morning Miami – Sao Paulo depends on the Brazilian economy
- Los Angeles – Buenos Aires is looking to be the best of all of American’s Buenos Aires service this winter, but isn’t viewed as healthy enough to go daily.
- They’re always interested in more London Heathrow flights. As a result of their British Airways joint venture they consider London Heathrow to be a hub.
This time there were even better and more specific details about American’s route plans.
Growth in Dallas Will Be Both Mainline and Regional
With American getting access to an additional 15 gates at Dallas Fort-Worth this year,
In May we will grow DFW by..123 [departures], 58 of those will be on the regional opening a ton of new markets, not just domestic markets but international cities as well in Mexico. The remaining call it 65 or so are all on the mainline… 6 of those being on the widebody.
In May we start Munich, we have added trips in Charles de Gaulle, Madrid, and Heathrow as well… As we build Charlotte that will also be a similar story.
American to Launch Chicago – Krakow?
Asked about a possible Chicago – Krakow, Poland route Raja replied with “no comment.” He usually entertains speculation, offers reasons why something might or might not work in response to questions. This time he was just tight lipped, so whether or not this comes to fruition something is clearly afoot with Krakow.
Normally transatlantic expansion happens from Philadelphia, but Chicago’s big Polish community might suggestion some local traffic for such a route.
Phoenix Will Become More of a Seasonal Hub
An employee asked about whether they’d be keeping Phoenix – Grand Rapids and Raja used that route as an example of how over time we’re likely to see more seasonal flying in and out of Phoenixm,
Phoenix – Grand Rapids “is a city we are really really big to from most all our other hubs.
The role of Phoenix especially as DFW expands will change over time and Grand Rapids is a great example of it. We’ll be flying more trips from Phoenix to the Midwest. Phoenix will grow in the Winter when Phoenix peaks in our Northern hubs, their demand tends to trough, and things like Grand Rapids and other Midwest cities are a sign of things to come in Phoenix.
Three New Domestic Flights We Should See From Dallas
Raja was asked about Toledo and we learned a bit more about American’s plans than we usually do here, “Toledo, Akron, Charleston West Virginia are effectively the only 3 cities left that exist in Houston that do not exist in DFW. Without revealing too much that won’t be the case for very long.” (Emphasis mine.)
Doug Parker chimed in, “Whoa, oooh, you’re dropping Toledo, Akron, and what else? Charleston, West Virginia. Pre-release.” Raja added, “probably not for the summer of 2019 but beyond it.: