American Airlines is betting big on summer. The airline expects to fly more than 90% of its domestic seat capacity compared to summer 2019. With over 150 new routes planned this summer, the airline is betting that Americans want to travel. In the latest announcement of the airline’s summer schedule, Orlando International Airport (MCO) is getting eight new routes. Moreover, widebodies will stay on short-haul and medium-haul Latin American and Caribbean routes out of Miami.
Betting on a big summer
Citing strong travel demand, American Airlines is offering more than 150 new routes across its network. The airline is expecting to fly more than 90% of its domestic seat capacity compared to summer 2019, and it will also fly around 80% of its international seat capacity compared to summer 2019.
Brian Znotins, American’s Vice President of Network Planning, stated the following on the new routes:
“Throughout the pandemic, our trademark has been to build a schedule based on what customers tell us they want and need. And today, they are telling us they’re eager to get back to travel. With our summer schedule, we can offer customers the best network and continue welcoming them safely back to the skies.”
On April 19th, 17 new nonstop routes will go on sale. One of the highlights of these new routes is a new service from Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) to Nashville International Airport (BNA).
Miami International Airport (MIA) is getting a big schedule boost. All services from the city to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) will run on Boeing 777s this summer. This means more capacity and a far better premium cabin than the narrowbodies that typically fly these routes.
Including out of airports in New York, American is adding more flights to Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) in North Carolina; Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) in Montana; and Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) in Wyoming. These are mostly outdoor leisure routes with easy access to national parks, outdoor hiking, trails, and plenty of local food and culture scenes.
Previously announced, American Airlines is building up out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). These new routes from the Texas capital will begin in May. But, the airline is already expanding that service with new flights from Austin to Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) in Nassau, Bahamas.
Orlando gets a big boost
Targeting leisure travelers who want to visit the tourist attractions in Orlando, Florida, the airline is adding eight new Saturday-only routes to MCO from:
- Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) in Alabama
- Dayton International Airport (DAY) in Ohio
- Indianapolis International Airport (IND) in Indiana
- Memphis International Airport (MEM) in Tennessee
- Nashville International Airport (BNA) in Tennessee
- Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) in Pennsylvania
- Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) in North Carolina
In response to demand projections, American expects to run these new routes from June 5th.
Boosts in Latin America
International demand recovery is lagging domestic recovery. In large part, because of border restrictions, American is expecting its international capacity to be down about 20% compared to the same period in 2019. However, the airline wants to continue to fly its breadth of destinations, even if it does not fly the full schedule it flew in 2019.
One of the shining spots in American’s international network is Latin America and the Caribbean. Already, American is flying widebodies on some short-haul and medium-haul international routes in the region.
The following routes will get Boeing 787-8 services out of MIA:
- Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (CLO) in Cali, Colombia
- José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (GYE) in Guayaquil, Ecuador
- Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM) in Lima, Peru
- José Mariá Córdova International Airport (MDE) in Medellin, Colombia
- Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
- Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito, Ecuador
Two routes will get service onboard Boeing 777-200ER from MIA:
- El Dorado International Airport (BOG) in Bogota, Colombia
- Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Colombia is getting record service from American Airlines. In addition to upgauging these aircraft, the airline is also adding service from JFK to CLO, BOG, and MDE on May 6th. These routes were previously announced as part of American’s Northeast Alliance with JetBlue.
Expanding upon American’s previously-announced cuts to transatlantic service, the airline is further tweaking its network. While new routes from JFK to Greece and from both New York and Miami to Israel and Miami to Suriname will launch this summer, the airline will be making cuts in other spheres.
This summer, American will not be flying to Edinburgh Airport (EDI) in the United Kingdom nor to Shannon Airport (SNN) in Ireland. Over in Asia, American will not be flying to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG). The airline will, however, continue to serve these markets with its partners. British Airways and Aer Lingus will help the airline serve Edinburgh and Shannon through connections. Cathay Pacific will be running flights to Hong Kong, albeit at a reduced schedule until the city’s restrictions ease.
How American is looking at network planning
Network planning has completely changed at American Airlines. The carrier is focused on pointing its planes where customers want to go. While the big seismic changes from 2020 are no longer being made, the airline will continue to monitor and tweak its schedules as necessary.
This summer is hopefully going to be a better one for American. Since March, things have started looking up for the airline industry as a whole. Now, American is taking those signs of demand improvement as an opportunity to expand its services this summer and connect America again.
Are you making travel plans for this summer? Will you fly any of American’s new or expanded routes? Let us know in the comments!