Earlier today American Airlines teased that they’d announce 5 new international routes tomorrow (Thursday). Their short video provided several hints.
- Dallas – Fort Worth to somewhere hot
- Philadelphia to Somewhere Fun, Somewhere New and Somewhere Glitzy
- Chicago O’Hare to Somewhere Classic
We also got the clue, “22,391.”
Enilria interpreted 22.391 as longitude or latitude and noted that with longitude it’s very close to Reykjavik. This would signify Philadelphia – Reykjavik, which isn’t new for American, but I guess it’s fun.
There were guesses around Dallas – Delhi, a route that Air India is talking about starting. Former American Airlines CEO Doug Parker outlined his airline’s anti-competitive approach to airlines starting new routes in Dallas at an employee meeting several years ago,
We would never allow that in Dallas Fort-Worth. Somebody starts flying a flight from Dallas to anywhere and American either is already there or we’re gonna be there.
Because we’re not going to let customers have another option other than American in and out of here.
There were a bunch of Doha guesses, but American already just announced moving their New York JFK – Doha flight to Philadelphia. I saw Istanbul floated as well. But here, I think, is the best guess that’s out there:
I believe I’ve nailed this one 😎
— CPHtraveller (@CPHtraveller) August 16, 2023
Copenhagen has definitely been speculated. All three Philadelphia routes being summer 2024 Europe makes a lot of sense. Venice as “classic” and also the return of a route for Chicago O’Hare so a classic destination for that hub. I guess it’s fair to call Barcelona hot (in the summer) but should an airline headquartered in Dallas with temperatures hitting 109 this week say so? I sort of liked the theory of Dallas – Helsinki (airport code HEL, being hot).
But the appeal of this bet is several-fold.
- The distance flown one way of all 5 routes combined is… 22,391. One of the Philadelphia boarding passes in American’s teaser video said LEG so Denmark (LEGO) makes sense. Scandinavia and Italy seemed very strong bets from the video.
- More importantly, these are all very much the sort of routes you expect from American Airlines. There’s nothing really bold here. Summer Europe it’s hard not to fill planes, unless they try something like they did pre-pandemic with Philadelphia – Bologna.
- These are routes they can operate with Boeing 787-8s. None of these additions should require more than one aircraft. None are super-premium routes where American’s small business class cabin of just 20 seats on the 787-8 presents a big problem.
I think this is the best guess we’ve seen that puts it all together. Philadelphia to Copenhagen, Nice, and Naples; Chicago to Venice; and Dallas to Barcelona. It’s good to see American viewing itself as more than just the airline that connects Tulsa and Indianapolis, but they’re not doing anything nearly as ‘exciting’ as United launching routes like Manila (American will likely pride themselves on this, to be fair).