The 5 New International Routes American Airlines Will Announce Tomorrow

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:

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. No aircraft in American’s fleet coil operate DFW to India even if there were no Russia airspace restrictions

  2. Anything out of a Philly (USScareWays) base = 100% BAD
    would never fly out of Philly.

  3. DFW-SIN would be my guess for hot. They did say that they were interested in flying to SIN. I would love to sin SIN and BCN both flown from DFW especially with all of the new gates coming online in DFW.

  4. Like DFW to India, DFW to SIN is impossible except for perhaps on a greatly reduced capacity A350 or the 777LR and a fuel truck towed behind the latter

  5. What exactly does “None of these additions should require more than one aircraft” mean? Does it mean AA should be able to use the same metal to do the RT every day.

  6. Seasonal CPH could work for AA, but it’s a very limited season as I see it. And there is a lot of US-CPH service already, which is but one factor in why the CPH-US-CPH economy class prices for regular paid tickets even at the peak of this summer were such a good deal that mileage tickets looked like a rip-off.

  7. Lego is BLL in a way CPH just is not. I don’t foresee AA having scheduled flights into Billund to get close to Lego.

  8. If they would have a nice plane to get me to Philly, I might consider these, but nothing like finishing a TATL on a 321 neo in J for 6 hours to make you feel really crummy.

    Probably doesn’t matter if it’s only 20 J on the 788 anyway, none will come from west of the mississippi.

  9. Will any of these routes truly entice folks to fly AA? I’m good having layovers vs a direct flight in order to avoid AA and their lack of customer service.

  10. CPH makes no sense. It is a thin route, which requires strong POS originating in CPH to work. If this is one of the routes AA is launching, it looks to be their new BLQ adventure.

  11. AA has very poor judgment to lean so heavily on PHL. It’s neither a growing market nor is that airport a decent place in which to connect. In fact, it’s basically a sewer. Now, while it’s true that many aspects of New York are no better, it is the premier business market in the USA and a huge metro with a high average income. Why AA literally pulled flights from JFK and plugged them into PHL is astoundingly stupid. Look at your options when you fly AA: yes, theres DFW which is a great airport, then there’s PHX (meh), ORD (which they’re continually downsizing), MIA (obnoxious but geographically perfect for Latin America), CLT (an incredibly overburdened and overcrowded facility, horrible to deal with), and PHL (sewer). I don’t even count LAX because they’ve downsized it so. Unless you live in the metroplex or fly a lot to Latin America, the experience flying AA sucks and you’d be way better off with DL or UA (or even WN).

    BTW, a new international flight out of ORD would be out of pattern for these guys so I’d be surprised if they did that. It would be great, but it would also be uncharacteristic.

  12. I can at least understand why they would try CPH and NCE through Philadelphia as they can’t compete on those routes from JFK, but as far as I know there is no competition at the moment JFK-NAP and I have to imagine a better market from the New York area . . . and certainly vastly more tourists coming in the other direction to New York but not Philadelphia.

  13. I will take PHL over DFW any day (weather for one) and while the clubs aren’t as nice, it’s easy to get from C to A (about 15 minutes). At issue will be can AA get immigrations / customs to automate and beef up staffing and can we get that Flagship lounge up and running.

    Can’t wait for PHL (it is the 6th of 7th largest metro area) up and running like the track they were on prior to 2020.

  14. @KyleEP – the PHL FL plans are on hiatus atm. If these 3 routes perform well with premium passengers that could change but atm there’s no construction and AA owes the airport/city paperwork to restart which they have not filed.

  15. I’d rather everything new to happen from either DFW or MIA. PHL isn’t exactly a glitzy airport. The clubs are old and outdated and there is no Flagship Lounge (not yet anyway that I know of). I guess PHL is just giving them a great price like CLT does (another not-so-great-airport).

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