With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging around the world and travel demand consequently depressed, airlines are being faced with adapting…
American Airlines Resumes Additional International Services
American Airlines announced the immediate resumption of eight international routes on Thursday in a press release. The carrier will begin flying from Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport to Amsterdam, Paris, and Frankfurt; from Miami to Antigua in the Caribbean and Guayaquil and Quito in Ecuador; from Chicago to London Heathrow; and from New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow.
“We’re seeing a slow but steady rise in…demand,” said Vasu Raja, American’s senior vice president of network strategy in the carrier’s press release, per USAToday. “After a careful review of data, we’ve built a…schedule to match.”
Delaying Other Route Relaunches
The airline is also delaying the resumption of flights on some previously-announced long-haul routes, including a number of transatlantic flights from Philadelphia and Charlotte, to August. Those services will join other services relaunching over the summer from Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Phoenix and Raleigh.
American’s long-haul capacity will be at 20% from last year’s levels this month, up from a low point of 10% capacity compared to a year ago.
American has made plans to reopen its longest route, from Dallas to Hong Kong, to passengers in early July. It will be the first time the carrier has flown that route since February.
A number of new international routes that American was set to start this summer will still be delayed. The launch of service from Boston to London Heathrow will be delayed until Oct. 25, while the start of a new Dallas to Tel Aviv route has been postponed until September 2021. Over two dozen summer seasonal long-haul routes will not be operated at all this year.
All in all, American’s long haul network is substantially lower than was originally planned for the summer, and it may be well into 2021 before it resembles its former self.
In addition to restarting some long-haul passenger routes today, American is also boosting the number of weekly cargo flights it is operating using widebody aircraft. The carrier is operating twice-daily cargo flights between Los Angeles and Shanghai. It is also flying daily to Hong Kong from Los Angeles and Dallas.
To Europe, American is flying between Philadelphia and Rome, Frankfurt and Zurich.
American, along with other major U.S. airlines, is optimistic that its passenger counts will continue to rise throughout the summer. It has reported notable upticks in domestic demand, and as governments around the world continue lifting restrictions on travel it is also betting that customers will be antsy to travel after months kept inside.
“As an airline, we’ve consciously bet on demand coming back. We have bet the economy,” Raja said. He added that American will fly just over 4,000 flights on peak days in July, up from 2,000 on peak days in May but still lower than a 6,800 daily peak before the Coronavirus crisis, Reuters reports.
Still, passengers are flying differently than they were just a few months ago.
American has waived change fees for flights booked by June 30, but it’s yet to be seen how this change in passenger behavior may impact ticket costs in the long term. Since people are booking flights later, it’s more uncertain how full flights will be until just before the flight departs, impacting how airlines must charge for seats.
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