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An American Airlines Boeing 787 at LAX (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Ben Suskind)

American Airlines Expands Services for the Summer

American Airlines has announced a new expansion for its upcoming summer schedule. In response to strong demand, the airline expects to fly 90% of its domestic seat capacity compared to the same period in 2019. Although slower see a rebound in demand, the airline also expects that it will operate 80% of its international seat capacity when compared to 2019. This summer the airline will operate 150 new routes, including new services announced today.

In addition to operating new routes, the airline will also add widebody flights on several domestic routes, as well as some short-haul routes to Latin America and the Caribbean. The additions and up-gauging have been the result of strong strong demand projections for travelers in the U.S. A strong vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in the U.S. has many airlines hopeful that travelers will begin to return over the summer. Although business travel will still not likely fully recover by the summer, leisure travel is driving up demand as people are eager to travel again after the lockdowns of the past year. 

New Routes for the Summer

This summer will heavily focus on leisure travel. In addition to previously-announced services to outdoor destinations, American will add more routes to southern destinations. Beginning June 5, the airline will add Saturday-only services from Orlando to eight destinations: Birmingham, Ala.; Dayton, Ohio; Indianapolis; Louisville; Memphis; Nashville; Pittsburgh and Raleigh. In addition to these daily flights, American is also adding a daily nonstop flight between Raleigh and Nashville. 

In addition, the recently announced Austin focus city will add a Saturday-only flight to Nassau, Bahamas. Other new leisure routes for the summer include new flights to Bangor and Burlington. Miami will also join Orlando with three new Saturday-only flights to Bangor, Maine; Rochester, N.Y.; Huntsville and continuing the existing Miami to Milwaukee flights. 

Expanded Capacity

The carrier will also be expanding capacity on the lucrative New York to South Florida market. All flights between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Miami will be operated by the airlines’ Boeing 777’s. In addition to New York, all flights between Los Angeles and Miami will also be operated on the airline’s Boeing 777’s. The airline will also be up-gauging certain Latin American and Caribbean routes from Miami. 

The airline will operate the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner to Cali and Medellin, Columbia; Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador; Lima, Peru and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Boeing 777 will be operating on flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Bogota, Columbia. The move comes as American looks to strengthen its stronghold on Latin America and South America. In addition to the up-gauged service, American has announced new services from JFK to Cali, Bogata and Medellin. 

International Suspension and Positive Cash

International service is still in flux as demand is slower to recover. For the summer, American will be the only U.S. carrier operating flights from Miami to Tel Aviv, as well as the only to operate to Suriname. However, some seasonal flights will not be operated this summer including flights to Edinburgh, Scotland; Shannon, Ireland and Hong Kong. American Airlines passengers will still be able to travel to these destinations, however, with American’s joint-venture partner British Airways and sister airline Aer Lingus.

The expansion comes as American announced that it was cash-flow positive for March on an adjusted basis. It is the first time the airline has been cash-flow positive since the pandemic began. The good news was buoyed by an increase in domestic demand over the upcoming summer. Despite this, the airline expected revenues to still be 62% lower for the first quarter than the same time in 2019.

Daniel Morley
Daniel Morley
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