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American Airlines Resets International Network for Remainder of 2020 Through Summer 2021

July 3, 2020 Aviation No Comments Email Email


American Airlines Group Inc.  will adjust its long-haul international schedule for winter 2020 through summer 2021. In an effort to match low demand resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the airline will realign its network with the goal of improving long-term profitability. American expects:

  • Summer 2021 long-haul international capacity to be down 25% compared to 2019.
  • To focus on markets that create unique connectivity for customers.
  • To leverage partnerships as the foundation of future international growth.

“COVID-19 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.”

International demand remains low

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 COVID-19, 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 for future growth

Earlier this year, American launched its West Coast International Alliance with Alaska Airlines, an innovative partnership 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. As previously announced, 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 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 Sunday, July 5.

No change fees for flights booked by July 31

American Airlines is providing customers additional flexibility by expanding waived change fees for customers booking tickets for any new travel purchased by July 31, 2020. Any first, business, Premium Economy, and Main Cabin tickets purchased on or before July 31, 2020, for future travel will not incur change fees prior to travel. Customers are allowed to change their origin and destination cities as part of this offer. Offer excludes Basic Economy and AAdvantage® award tickets. Customers must pay any fare difference, if applicable, and fare rules may apply depending on the ticket.

Customers have flexibility for AAdvantage® award tickets as changes made 60 days or more before travel have no reinstatement fee. More information on changing award tickets can be found at aa.com.

American currently has a change fee waiver in place for all tickets, including Basic Economy and AAdvantage® award tickets, for travel through Sept. 30, 2020. Additional updates on existing travel alerts can be found on aa.com/travelalerts.

Updated international schedule (not previously announced):

Origin Destination Schedule change
Charlotte (CLT) Frankfurt (FRA) Service resumes summer 2021
CLT London (LHR) Service resumes winter 2020
CLT Munich (MUC) Service resumes winter 2020
Chicago (ORD) Barcelona (BCN) Service resumes summer 2021
ORD Dublin (DUB) Service resumes summer 2021
ORD Paris (CDG) Service resumes summer 2021
Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Beijing (PEK) Service resumes summer 2021
DFW Buenos Aires (EZE) Service resumes winter 2020
DFW Lima (LIM) Service resumes winter 2020
DFW Sao Paulo (GRU) Service resumes winter 2020
DFW Rome (FCO) Service resumes summer 2021
DFW Santiago (SCL) Service resumes summer 2021
DFW Tel Aviv (TLV) Service launches winter 2021
Los Angeles (LAX) Auckland (AKL) Service launches winter 2021
LAX LHR Service resumes winter 2020
LAX Sydney (SYD) Service resumes summer 2021
New York (JFK) CDG Service resumes winter 2020
JFK BCN Service resumes summer 2021
JFK EZE Service resumes winter 2020
JFK Rio de Janeiro (GIG) Service resumes winter 2021
JFK GRU Service resumes winter 2020
JFK Madrid (MAD) Service resumes summer 2021
JFK Milan (MXP) Service resumes summer 2021
Miami (MIA) CDG Service resumes summer 2021
MIA GIG Service resumes winter 2020
MIA GRU Service resumes Aug. 6, 2020
MIA MAD Service resumes summer 2021
MIA SCL Service resumes Aug. 5, 2020
Philadelphia (PHL) Amsterdam (AMS) Service resumes winter 2020
PHL DUB Service resumes winter 2020
PHL LHR Service resumes winter 2020
PHL Manchester (MAN) Service resumes summer 2021
PHL MAD Service resumes winter 2020
PHL CDG Service resumes summer 2021
PHL FCO Service resumes summer 2021
PHL Zurich (ZRH) Service resumes summer 2021
Phoenix (PHX) LHR Service resumes winter 2020
Raleigh (RDU) LHR Service resumes winter 2020
Seattle (SEA) Bangalore (BLR) Service launches winter 2021
SEA LHR Service launches summer 2021
SEA Shanghai (PVG) New service subject to government approval

American will no longer operate the following routes:

Origin Destination
CLT BCN
CLT FCO
CLT CDG
DFW MUC
LAX Hong Kong (HKG)
LAX EZE
LAX GRU
LAX PEK
LAX PVG**
MIA Brasilia (BSB)
MIA MXP
ORD Budapest (BUD)*
ORD Krakow (KRK)*
ORD Prague (PRG)*
ORD Venice (VCE)
PHL Berlin (TXL)
PHL BUD
PHL Casablanca (CMN)*
PHL Dubrovnik (DBV)

*American will not launch ORD—BUD, ORD—PRG, ORD—KRK and PHL—CMN as previously announced.

**Subject to government approval of SEA—PVG.



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