Inside American Airlines’ Huge Austin Growth

After years of pretty much no growth, American Airlines has expanded hugely at Austin this year. This November, it will have more than doubled in size, narrowing the gap considerably with Austin’s largest airline – Southwest. With 32 routes, we examine what’s happening.

Inside American Airlines’ Huge Austin Growth
Austin has risen seven places to become American’s 12th-largest airport. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Looking at this coming November, four months away, American has 611,000 round-trip seats available, data expert OAG shows. Of course, things could change, but this is by far its highest ever and more than twice the number it had in November 2019.

The number of flights has increased at an even faster rate, showing how it is particularly relying on the regional capacity provided by American Eagle and the Embraer 175. Recently, we looked at the Fokker 100, which was operated by American mainline.

Inside American Airlines’ Huge Austin Growth
American has cemented its lead over number-three, Delta, while narrowing the gap with Southwest, Austin’s largest carrier. Image: Simple Flying using OAG data.

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It follows years of minimal growth

American’s expansion comes after many years of little growth at the Texas capital. For example, in November 2011, American had just three routes from Austin: Dallas Fort Worth (naturally!); Chicago O’Hare; and Los Angeles.

New York JFK came in 2012, followed by Philadelphia, Phoenix, Charlotte, and Miami in 2015. Of course, some of these were the result of the merger with US Airways. Clearly, American’s routes were almost fully about hub flying – but how things have changed.

Inside American Airlines’ Huge Austin Growth
While American’s route map has grown considerably, with an obvious focus on leisure markets both inbound and outbound, over half of its capacity is still to its core six hubs. Image: OAG Mapper.

32 routes this November

In the week beginning November 8th, American will have 525 outbound flights from Austin to these 32 destinations. That’s 75 departures a day. These include an overnight service to San Juan, some 2,146 miles away. Other routes include six international, such as Liberia, Costa Rica, a market with 12,000 point-to-point passengers in 2019, booking data reveals.

  • Dallas Fort Worth: 91 weekly departures
  • Charlotte: 42
  • Miami: 35
  • Chicago O’Hare: 28
  • Los Angeles: 28
  • El Paso: 21
  • Philadelphia: 21
  • Phoenix: 21
  • Boston: 14
  • Cincinnati: 14
  • Indianapolis: 14
  • Kansas City: 14
  • Las Vegas: 14
  • Nashville: 14
  • New Orleans: 14
  • New York JFK: 14
  • Orlando: 14
  • Raleigh Durham: 14
  • St Louis: 14
  • Tampa: 14
  • Washington Dulles: 14
  • Jacksonville: 7
  • Oklahoma City: 7
  • Reno: 7
  • San Juan: 7
  • Tulsa: 7
  • Cancun: 4
  • Nassau: 4
  • Punta Cana: 4
  • Liberia: 3
  • Puerto Vallarta: 3
  • Los Cabos: 3
Inside American Airlines’ Huge Austin Growth
Many of American’s new routes had decent numbers of passengers connect through Dallas. St Louis, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville, and Oklahoma City were all in the top-10 via its Texas hub. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

What’s happening on a day in November?

On Tuesday, November 9th, American’s first departure is at 05:10 to Dallas. It is one of 13 departures to the airline’s largest hub that day, mainly by 181-seat A321, which has 16 seats in first. In 2019, American had an 85% seat load factor on this route, with 87% of passengers transiting through the hub, according to data from the Department of Transport’s T-100 obtained from Cirium.

From Austin to…Leaving at…Aircraft
Dallas 05:10A321
Dallas 06:00A321
Kansas City06:00E175
Los Angeles06:00B737-800
Dallas 06:50A321
Miami07:00B737 MAX 8
Puerto Vallarta07:30B737-800
Washington Dulles07:30A319
Dallas 07:40A321
St Louis07:45E175
New York JFK07:51B737-800
Dallas 08:10B737-800
Dallas 08:55A321
Raleigh Durham08:55E175
Los Angeles09:00A319
Dallas 09:34A321
Dallas 10:30A321
El Paso10:40E175
Kansas City11:50E175
Dallas 12:40B737-800
Las Vegas12:40B737-800
Los Cabos12:53B737-800
New Orleans13:10E175
Dallas 14:40A321
Washington Dulles15:30A319
El Paso16:00E175
Raleigh Durham16:00E175
Oklahoma City16:20E175
St Louis16:25E175
Dallas 16:40A321
Los Angeles17:30B737-800
New York JFK18:21B737-800
Dallas 18:30B737-800
Las Vegas19:20B737-800
Los Angeles19:41B737-800
Miami19:55B737 MAX 8
Dallas 20:30B737-800
New Orleans20:40E175
El Paso20:51E175
San Juan22:20B737-800

While the B737-800 is the most commonly used aircraft that day, the 76-seat Embraer 175 is next. It has about one-third of departures, with only one hub (Miami) seeing the type. The aircraft is key for American’s new routes from Austin, including the 1,405-mile link with Reno, a previously unserved market with a strong 42,000 passengers in 2019.

Are you planning to fly to Austin this year? If so, from where? Let us know in the comments.