American Airlines to Significantly Reduce International Network

In an effort to match low demand resulting from
the ongoing global COVID19 pandemic, American Airlines is
realigning its network with the goal of improving long-term
profitability.

The airline has said that it expects:

– Summer 2021 long-haul international capacity to
be down 25% compared to 2019;

– To focus on markets that create unique
connectivity for customers; and

– To leverage partnerships as
the foundation of future international growth.

“COVID19 has
forced us to reevaluate our network,” said American’s Chief
Revenue Officer, Vasu Raja. “American will have a significantly
smaller international network in the year ahead, but we are using
this opportunity to hit reset and create a network using the
strength of our strategic hubs that we can build and grow upon and
be profitable on in this new environment.”


American Airlines Boeing 777 reg: N779AN. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

In response to the prolonged downturn in
international travel, American expects summer 2021 long-haul
international capacity to be down 25% versus 2019. As the airline
begins planning for next summer, American will also discontinue
several routes that were once popular leisure destinations but are
expected to exhibit decreased demand.

“American has spent
the past few years right-sizing its international network,
discontinuing underperforming routes while adding leisure
destinations like Dubrovnik and Prague,” said Brian Znotins,
American’s Vice President of Network Planning. “Now, as demand has
significantly diminished due to COVID19, we have to be nimble,
creating the network that our customers desire.”

American
will exit several routes, including three trans-Atlantic routes
from both Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). The company will also
exit five underperforming routes from Los Angeles International
Airport (LAX) to destinations in Asia and South America,
concentrating on the hub’s domestic strength.

As American
resets its international network for future growth, Dallas Fort
Worth International Airport (DFW) will be the airline’s major
trans-Pacific hub while Miami International Airport (MIA) will
continue to be the preeminent hub for flights to the Caribbean and
Latin America. Once government restrictions on trans-Atlantic
flying subside, PHL will continue to be American’s primary hub for
service to Europe.

Strategic Focus on Partner Hubs
in Seattle and London

Earlier this year,
American launched its West Coast International Alliance with
Alaska Airlines, a partnership designed to expand its
international reach and connectivity for customers.

 The airline
will plan future growth with the strength of this relationship,
which includes a large presence and a strong feed in Seattle.

American will launch service from Seattle
(SEA) to Bangalore and London (LHR) next year, and Alaska also
intends to join the oneworld alliance in 2021.

The airline will
also seek government approval to move its LAX service to Shanghai
to operate out of SEA, which will offer more customers direct
access to Asia, utilizing the strength of Alaska’s local presence
in the Pacific Northwest.

American will also continue to
fly to joint business partners’ hubs. And while some international
markets will not return, American anticipates a full schedule to
LHR by 2021. The airline says that it will continue to work closely with
British Airways to provide an extensive network that allows
customers to reach key destinations when they are ready.

“For American, every new partnership means future growth
opportunities for our airline. We’re going to rely on our hubs’
greatest strengths with our existing international network, and
further integrate into our partners’ hubs to provide connectivity
that’s been untapped in the past,” Raja said. “American will be
well poised to emerge from this crisis with a stronger network
that provides improved connectivity for our customers.”

A
full list of changes can be found below. International schedule
updates will be reflected on aa.com on Sunday, 5 July.

In an effort to match low demand resulting from the ongoing global COVID19 pandemic, American Airlines is realigning its network with the goal of improving long-term profitability, giving it a significantly smaller international network in the year ahead.

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