American Airlines About to Drop a Big List of New Routes and Network Changes

Yesterday American Airlines teased a big announcement on social media (HT: One Mile at a Time).

The internet is responding with speculation like ‘more legroom, seat back TVs, and free text messaging and wifi’. And while a modification of the Oasis retrofit (densification) program has been rumored, there have been internal discussion of bringing back seat back video screens, and American is prepared to offer free wifi once Delta does none of those things are what this announcement is about.

If nothing else the fact that American put Vasu Raja on camera, their Vice President of Network Planning, tells you that the announcement is about the routes American will fly.

Things to look out for:

  • Australia/New Zealand: American has a new joint venture approved with Qantas and they’ve promised more South Pacific flying.

  • Europe: American has been growing in Eastern Europe (Krakow has gotten a lot of attention). Their Western Europe flights haven’t worked out as well. Bologna, Italy is a goner. JonNYC, who has his hands into more than Dominique Strauss-Kahn, says Berlin is being axed as well. However I’m always on the lookout for flights to Spain, Italy, and Germany.

  • Asia: We can expect a reshuffle at Tokyo-Narita now that American has acquired a couple of new Tokyo Haneda slots. I don’t see American’s Asia presence growing substantially, since long term it’s been weak for them.

  • Africa: With Royal Air Maroc now in oneworld rumors of an American flight to Casablanca have been around for some time.

There are also rumors of Tel Aviv coming back.

By the way you can buy the plush toy that Vasu has with him in the video, but as of this writing there are only 14 in stock.

I’ve previously predicted Chicago – Krakow and Philadelphia – Casablanca so I’ll stick with those. (They weren’t final by any means when I heard about them.) Since there’ll be several routes announced there should be something from the Qantas JV, it’ll include Europe changes, and also bundle small ball North America stuff. I expect that changes will probably be less heavy in South America – even though airline President Robert Isom just made a trip there – pending the LATAM joint venture.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Seriously though, based on the teaser: Mortar and pestle = Mexico? Marionette with clogs = Netherlands? Mixer and tonic bottle = Spain?

  2. Mortar & pestle=definitely Mexico. My guess is DFW>GDL. Guadalajara’s affluent population is growing exponentially and it is the high-tech and medical tourism center for Mexico and Central America.

  3. AA should consider seasonal service to NAP from PHL as UAL is the only carrier serving Naples from the U.S. Most summer leisure travelers head to Southern Italy and the Amalfi Coast via train because of lack of service . Something to explore for next summer ?

  4. I am seriously hoping for CLT – AMS but I doubt it as there are not a log of OW partners to transfer to there…

  5. @KimmiA There are already 3 Daily DFW-GDL flights, so I would highly doubt that just adding another frequency to that service would rise to the level of placing some riddle in the “big announcement” teaser. Who knows? You might be right, but thinking it is something else in this case.

  6. The BLQ-PHL service was very nice, glad I got to take AAdvantage of it while it lasted.

  7. I predict that American will announce a reduction in benefits and service quality. And Doug will get a contract extension.

  8. Flew PHL-TXL in June. Worst machine ever. Old 767 with original interiors, right down to the cathode-ray tube TVs bolted to the ceiling. Flight was packed, though.

    Berlin was always going to be seasonal.

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