What Routes is American Airlines Considering?

After American’s third quarter earnings call late in the week, executives gathered for their internal ‘State of the Airline’ comments to employees along with question and answer session. Vice President – Planning Vasu Raja answered questions about the airline’s route plans in a “network speed round.”

Here are key takeaways:

  • American is looking at making Dallas-Fort Worth – Reykjavik year-round.

  • They’ll consider making their new Phoenix – London Heathrow flight year-round also, depending on how it does.

    American Airlines in Phoenix

  • Bringing back the morning Miami – Sao Paulo depends on the Brazilian economy

  • Los Angeles – Buenos Aires is looking to be the best of all of American’s Buenos Aires service this winter, but isn’t viewed as healthy enough to go daily.

  • They’re always interested in more London Heathrow flights. As a result of their British Airways joint venture they consider London Heathrow to be a hub.

    London Heathrow Terminal 5

  • Here’s why use of large Airbus narrowbodies is shrinking for Miami – Caribbean routes (though I find it odd to suggest Miami – Northeast flights are ‘low demand markets’).

    Miami is an airport that really rewards simplicity because of the way its infrastructure is built. We are looking increasingly at operating Miami with really 319s and 737s. We bought 319 performance airplanes and the 737 MAX in large part for Miami because those airplanes can not only go and fly relatively low demand markets like the Northeast to Miami, they can also go and fly long haul performance markets in Latin America and Central America as well.

    So the 737s you’re seeing in Miami are actually the 737 MAXs that are going into Miami, the 319s you see in Miami are 319 performance that can go serve a lot of different missions. By simplifying it you improve the operational performance of the hub, by putting a high performance airplane in there with a lot of seats you go and improve the profitable performance of the hub

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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  1. Hope to see the AA metal PHX-LHR go year round. Along with Condor flying to Frankfurt, PHX actually somewhat resembles an “International” airport. Nonstop transpacific further than Hawaii would be nice.

  2. Miami is a good growth idea as is South America and Central America it seems like to me. Other than the D60 gate RJ Dungeon MIA is a good experience. If I ran AA (which they haven’t asked me yet) I’d work to increase loyalty, increase lift to key Europe routes like LHR and CDG. I’d fix the Israel problem they have and run some metal there but mostly I’d expand a lot in South American. AA could own those routes more than they do already.

  3. @Afterbang – Insert Scott Kirby comment about “overflying your hubs” bs. Honestly, AA should be happy they have PHX. They have nothing west of DFW and LAX is so tiny compared to their other hubs. Phoenix to their one world partner hubs would probably work with 787-8s

  4. I think when they refer to Miami – northeast as low demand, they mean low demand on the aircraft’s capabilities, only ~3 hr flights, relative to the longer central America flights that actually benefit from the increased range of the MAX.

  5. AA’s MIA-NYC reflects 3 NYC metro airports they serve primarily LGA, but too JFK & EWR. so you’ve got 3 destinations with nearly hourly flights to each (20+ weekdays day time flights btw MIA and NYC metro airports) — that what refers to the smaller capacity planes the 739 or 319.

  6. So glad to hear the news about PHX. It’s a great operation and let’s face it, LAX isn’t a great hub and Dallas has spring and summer weather issues. PHX is a great transfer hub and a destination hub 9 months out of the year. Plus no need to de-ice. . .ever! I hope LHR stays and add Japan at some point (even 4 a week) plus maybe some seasonal service to Spain or Italy. AZ is open for business and AA is here to stay!

  7. @Gary – I do appreciate AA routing rules – allowing backtrack flying to DFW to catch a flight to NRT when no LAX seats. Would be so much easier to just start flying PHX-TYO. 🙂 Dreaming, I know.

  8. @Gary, I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but AA flying to Reykjavik is about one thing, trying to drive competitors out of business, or at least out of DFW. With 100% certainty that route is a money loser for them.

  9. All of this grandiose talk about PHX to Europe and Asia but the bottom line remains that there is nothing other than BA’s flight to LHR and now an additional AA flight. The sketchy Condor service to FRA hardly counts.

    So where is Turkish or LH or…..? Hard to believe that the fifth largest city in the US has basically got zilch in terms of international service. It’s sad. I don’t want to go to LAX or DFW or YYZ or wherever.

  10. Gary – have you heard about the possibility of AA or any other airline flying SOUTHWEST Florida to St. Thomas.? At one time, AA serviced St. Thomas (STT) with a flight from Sarasota (SRQ) to MIA to STT. Flight was always packed – then they cancelled and several years later, started it up again – again they were always packed.- and they cancelled again. That was probably about ten years ago. At this point TPA – Tampa – is the only route to MIA/STT but it is VERY inconvenient since many of their flights leave early in the am.

  11. It looks like AA has made phx lhr permanent. You can book tickets now on AA or BA for dates beyond 31 oct

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