Why American is Suspending New York JFK – Madrid Service Despite Their Iberia Joint Venture

American Airlines is suspending their New York JFK – Madrid flight January 7 through February 29.

As a result there’s no way they can make a Boeing 777 work in winter despite American having a revenue-sharing anti-trust immunized joint venture with Iberia, making Madrid effectively a hub. This reduction in capacity (American will still share revenue with Iberia which flies the route) is good news for Delta, Air Europe, United, and Norwegian.

American had announced an all-777 long haul strategy at JFK. Maybe that wasn’t such a great idea, although it was also a rationalization for cutting flights that couldn’t support a 777.

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. Given the higher standard of customer experience at Delta and Air Europe, AA’s absence will not be missed at JFK. Now, if we can only get Iberia to suspend their flights, given the absolute worst premium economy class, and overt violation of the EU261 regs (I am still fighting from 1 June 2019).

    Not that I want to help AA CEO Parker, but I am surprised he did not move his JFK-MAD flight to ORD, where at least he has a hub and significant potential feed. When I have flown Iberia from ORD-MAD during the so-called off season, business and premium economy were always full. And as United just figured out, the coin of the realm is in business and premium economy, which explains why they are expanding those classes.

  2. Oh I am so sick of the NYC whining. So AA isn’t making you a priority. . .DEAL! AA is making network strategies to make money and the rest of the country doesn’t need to fly through NYC to go to Europe any more. Ask Pan AM and TWA how well that strategy worked. . .oh wait you can’t they don’t exist! NYC is a focus city to major US cities and alliance hubs in Europe for AA. DL and UA can fight to try to make money there.

  3. I have been traveling between NYC and Madrid for over 20 years. AA always suspends its nonstop service over the winter. It is a seasonal flight. If anything, I am surprised that it is only being suspended for 53 days. That’s actually the news here.

  4. Why your obsession with New York and relentless bashing of AA, more so than any other airline? It’s like every other day you whine and complain.

    When they are adding flights to Montego Bay Jamaica, Georgetown Guyana, San Jose and Liberia in Costa Rica and increasing St Kitts from one to two a week and Antigua daily year round from New York some how I don’t recall these making it on your blog.

    Or since it an actual addition, it doesn’t fit your narrative of whining and doom?

    Maybe you should become their CEO since you have all the answers.

    At the end of the day there’s not much difference between the majors anyway. They all get you to your destination safely.

    Provide more balance and perhaps you would come across as more credible.

  5. Interestingly though, JFK-BCN is still on the schedule operated by AA B772s through the winter. I’d bet a lot of bookings are made via IB since IB does not operate JFK-BCN nonstop. Anyone have data on how much of that flight is booked using IB codeshare vs AA flight number?

  6. The writing was kind of on the wall the moment the US/AA merger closed. They weren’t going to be able to keep large-scale hubs in both PHL and JFK and make money doing it. So they did the logical thing from an economic perspective. They grew PHL, which has MUCH lower operating costs. Thus, they can test out numerous different trans-Atlantic flights from PHL without much risk. That meant using JFK really as solely an O & D market for premium transcon and the few remaining international markets they still fly from there, throwing in the sprinkling of remaining domestic and Latin America flying. The shame of it is that they have that huge terminal facility at JFK that they built not all that long ago. Not exactly getting great utilization out of it.

  7. Your information is flawed. AA is still operating JFK MAD during this timeframe with the exception of a few dates.

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