American Airlines is launching a new long haul Pacific route, Dallas to Auckland, complementing Qantas Dallas – Sydney service. They won’t restart Los Angeles – Auckland, though, and they’re dropping the idea of Dallas – Tel Aviv. The long-expect Seattle – Bangalore flight, which was supposed to be American’s first return to India, won’t happen until (at least) summer 2023 if it comes to fruition.
There are several more route changes as American adjusts its international strategy as well.
- Seattle – Bangalore won’t start until (at least) summer 2023. They blame Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but they’re still short planes (their own fleet retirements and Boeing delivery delays), still-limited business travel, and United’s planned San Francisco – Bangalore flight presents real competition from a hub with more local demand. American’s New York JFK – Delhi service continues to sell well, though, despite challenges posed by the lack of access to Russian airspace.
- Dallas Fort Worth – Tel Aviv eliminated this was supposed to be American’s first flight returning to Tel Aviv since the old US Airways Philadelphia route. However their New York JFK service is doing well. Evangelical demand in the Midwest turns out to be not as a good a business as New York (or for that matter Miami) at least compared to pre-pandemic bets.
- Los Angeles – Auckland dropped Joint venture partner Qantas hasn’t brought this back into their schedule either. I wrote in the fall that American would no longer view LAX as their Asia gateway and would likely only operate international long haul departures to partner hubs with limited competition – London, Tokyo, and Sydney.
- Dallas – Auckland new service. American certainly has more connecting opportunities through Dallas compared to Los Angeles, and less competition.
- Dallas – Beijing and Seattle – Shanghai won’t restart until summer 2023. Presumably China will be out of lockdown by then, since the 20th Peoples Congress will have happened and President Xi will have been re-elected unless a whole lot of out of the money puts pay off.
- 3 more routes cancelled Dallas – Lima, New York JFK – Cali, Colombia, and New York JFK – Medellin, Colombia. New York is doing far better for American than it used to, bolstered in part by their joint venture with JetBlue but mostly by a renewed commitment to the region. However not every flight will work. And Lima has always been a low yield play for American.
It’s disappointing to see Seattle take a hit both with Shanghai and Bangalore, not so much for those flights (where not serving the routes at this time makes sense) but because they have represented the potential of using Seattle and the Alaska Airlines partnership for a new gateway to Asia – as Los Angeles has been de-emphasized for that role.
And it’s disappointing to see the first Tel Aviv idea fizzle, but American now serves Israel from both New York and Miami. So it isn’t too disappointing. And seasonal New Zealand service out of Dallas is something the market doesn’t already have. As for Shanghai they really can’t expect to ask crews to layover in this. American will continue their current flight via Seoul, however.