American Imposing Major Flight Reductions, Expect More To Come

United Airlines already announced a 20% cut to its international route network and 10% cut domestically. American is out with route and frequency reductions and I don’t think they are done.

  • International reduction for summer is 10% (55% reduction in transpacific flying)
  • Domestic reduction in April is 7.5%

Cutting Asia Flying By More Than Half

American has already suspended its China, Hong Kong and Seoul flying. Those cuts continue.

  • LA – China and Hong Kong is off the schedule through summer
  • Dallas – China is off the schedule through summer
  • Dallas – Hong Kong is expected to resume in July with a reduced schedule.
  • Seoul flights remain off the schedule until early May
  • Tokyo flights will see smaller aircraft starting in May

American’s Asia route network is limited to begin with. Their Qantas joint venture flights do not appear affected at this time.

Europe Reductions

With the quarantine of all of Italy, American has suspended Philadelphia – Rome through end of April and their Chicago and Charlotte – Rome flights through early summer. They had already stopped flying to Milan through early summer.

They’re delaying resumption of seasonal Charlotte – Barcelona and Chicago – Venice until early June. They’re delaying seasonal New York JFK and Dallas Fort-Worth – Rome until end of April. American won’t be operating its planned second Dallas – Rome flight.

American is also “[r]educing service to Paris (CDG) and Madrid (MAD) for parts of May and June.”

South America Sees Cuts Too

South America has thus far been less affected by coronavirus than Europe or Asia, but America is making cuts in the region as well.

  • Miami – Montevideo becomes seasonal, ending in May and starting back up in December
  • Dallas – Santiago suspended through April

Domestic Cuts and Additional Widebody Flying

American already announced Chicago – Honolulu seasonal service with a Boeing 787-9 for the summer. They say they will be redeploying additional widebodies from international routes they’re cutting onto domestic flights.

At the same time they’re cutting domestic flights, they say by 7.5% for April but haven’t released what the changes will be. They say only that they “will decrease frequencies on markets with robust schedule patterns and will cancel routes where customers can be easily reaccommodated.”

Expect Additional Cuts

The airline flags that they are retaining service to slot-restricted airports at a level that doesn’t risk giving up their slots. IATA has asked the world’s governments and airports to waive these restrictions for 2020. If that happens we can expect to see additional service adjustments.

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. I have a commuter flight on May 11 from Burlington VT to Charlotte NC

    Will this be cancelled?

  2. Seems like Spain and France may be the next countries to see significant flight cuts.

  3. DL and UA are more exposed then AA (and by the UA cut first, follwed by AA and then DL – which hasn’t announced exact cuts yet, just that they are cutting), because of their large Asian networks. North and South America and the UK (AA strengths) are down, but not by as much. I can see AA retiring the domestic 757 and all or most 767’s early as a trickle of NEOs and 787-8 come into the fleet. Next cuts would be the older A320’s.

    UA has already delayed the A350’s (which they will eventually cancel) and DL’s A330/A350 will be delayed further. Asia will take years to recover travel volume.

  4. I flew CLT – NYC last week and my outbound to JFK on a Wednesday at mid day was half empty. And that flight is typically a feeder flight for international evening departures from JFK on AA and One World partners. Return on Friday afternoon was pretty much full.

    My meetings this week in Philly have changed from an in-person workshop to a virtual video-meet. I hear this is happening at an incredible rate with other companies and clients we have. I doubt those wide-bodies on domestic are going to make sense if you can’t even fill an A321. I think the airline industry is going to go through some serious hurt, and it will be interesting to see if business is going to learn that virtual meetings can be deployed a lot more than has been the case. It might take years for passenger volume to grow back…

  5. Are you sure about ORD-FCO? My 6/4-16 is still showing a go. I would like to avoid a change fee as my cruise is cancelled.

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