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An American Airlines 737-800 taxing at Boston Logan International Airport. The airline’s unions have not taken well to the decision to furlough thousands of workers. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

American Adds New South America Connection from New York

Fort Worth-based American Airlines announced a new connection to Georgetown, Guyana on Thursday from its hub at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The new flight will add to the carrier’s current flights to Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and seasonal service to Rio to be the fourth nonstop flight from JFK Airport to South America on American Airlines.

“American is the only U.S. carrier that flies to Georgetown,” said Vasu Raja, Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning for American in a press release. “This route will be important for customers in New York with cultural, business, or economic interest in the market, and we look forward to welcoming Guyanese visitors to the Big Apple.”

Daily flights between the two cities are scheduled to commence on Dec. 18, 2019, with tickets available for purchase on May 6. Though the flight schedule is still subject to approval by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, flight AA2896 will depart JFK Airport at 6 p.m. and arrive at 12:40 a.m. in Georgetown. The return flight will depart for New York at 1:35 a.m. and arrive at 6:29 a.m. The flight will last approximately 5 and a half hours in each direction.

American Airlines plans to use a Boeing 737-800 with 160 seats to service the new route. The first class cabin will feature 16 recliner seats. Though there will be power at every seat, the airline will not offer entertainment screens at each seat as it works to strip its short-haul Airbus and Boeing fleet of seatback TVs in favor of offering inflight entertainment options on personal devices.

Georgetown Airport currently has one other direct flight to New York via Caribbean Airlines. The flag carrier of Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean Airlines offers daily service between the two cities with a second flight offered on Sundays and Thursdays. The airline also operates a 737-800 on the route with 152 seats.

JFK Airport marks American’s second route to Georgetown. The carrier began flights to Guyana from Miami in November 2018 four times weekly. American has found success on that route and plans to increase to daily service this summer and plans to use a 737 MAX 8 or equivalent 172-seat plane on the route.

Despite rumors of the airline planning to de-hub the airport and focus on expanding at its nearby hub in Philadelphia, the carrier has only reduced the capacity for the summer season due to a $355 million runway revamp project which requires closing runway 13L/31R until November.

With one less runway and added delays at an already congested airport, the airline decided to re-allocate aircraft at other hubs which could handle and profit from additional capacity. This comes after the airline was granted a waiver to abandon 27 of its slots at JFK Airport until the runway construction is complete. American Airlines currently has 59 mainline departures from JFK Airport every day, though this number will spike once construction of the runway has finished later this year.

Mateen Kontoravdis
Mateen Kontoravdis
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